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Long-running scheme to demolish and replace seaside village bungalow approved

Plans to demolish ‘The Beach House’ bungalow at Cae Dolwen, Aberporth, replacing it with a new build (Pic: Ceredigion County Council webcast)

CEREDIGION planners have approved a long-running scheme to demolish a seaside village bungalow, replacing it with a two-storey house, despite a long list of objectors, including the local community council.

Applicant Paul Hodgson sought to demolish the bungalow, known as ‘The Beach House’ at Cae Dolwen, Aberporth, replacing it with a new build, despite objections by local community council Aberporth and 14 letters against the scheme.

The site had a long planning history, with a previous scheme refused, followed by lengthy discussions between the architect and planning officers before the latest scheme was submitted.

The application itself has been before the last two Ceredigion County Council development management committees, both recommended for approval, and was again recommended for approval at the February 14 meeting.

It was deferred at the December meeting due to further details connected with the scheme being submitted shortly before the committee date; the January meeting agreeing to a site visit before any decision was made.

The application was brought before the committee following a request by Aberporth and Y Ferwig councillor Gethin Davies, who has raised issues of a claimed overdevelopment of the site, impact on the landscape, and materials used.

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A report for planners has said that, while the new modern building’s height would increase by 1.87 metres, “it is considered to do this sympathetically to allow for a second storey by incorporating two gable end and a flat roof to ensure the pitched roof on the front elevation is not excessively high compared to that of the estate”.

At last month’s meeting, concerned neighbours said there were no objections to the redevelopment but to the “inappropriate nature and bulk” of the scheme, some “35 per cent taller” than the present bungalow.

The glass-fronted proposed replacement was described as “visually intrusive” and overbearing, with fears it would leave neighbouring gardens in shadow.

In a letter submitted to planners, applicant Paul Hodgson said the current house was purchased in 2018, after holidaying in the area for “the last 30-plus summers”.

“The original house purchase survey highlighted several significant fundamental issues with the building that has subsequently resulted in cold, damp and mouldy living conditions for myself and family. The advice at that time was that renovation would be very difficult, expensive, and probably inadequate, and a rebuild would be the best solution to resolve all of the issues.”

At the February meeting, members heard small amendments to the scheme had been made following the site visit and discussions with the applicant’s agent.

Cllr Hugh Hughes, who recommended approval, described the changes as a “sensible solution,” adding it would be “extremely difficult” to go against officer recommendations to approve.

The application was overwhelmingly approved by committee members.

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