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Green light given to turn workshop into community hub near Lake Vyrnwy

A CHARITY has been given the green light by Powys planners to change the use of a building near Lake Vyrnwy in Llanwddyn into a community hub.

The proposal by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) will allow a change of use for Unit Six, Vyrnwy workshops from shop/financial services or professional uses to a community hub.

This is the next stage in an overall scheme to improve the visitor experience at Lake Vyrnwy called “Vibrant Vyrnwy.”

The application had been made on behalf of the RSPB by Sara Braune who explained the project.

Ms Braune said: “The workshop unit will be used as a volunteer and community hub as part of a Community Lottery Funded project called Vibrant Vyrnwy.

“The project engages with the local community and volunteers to highlight the work at Lake Vyrnwy by Hafren Dyfrdwy, the RSPB, the local community, and tourist association.”

Ms Braune explained that the unit will be a “community space” that will bring volunteers, locals, and Vibrant Vyrnwy staff all together.

“The range of work anticipated varies from regular volunteer meetings and training sessions to open events for the general public highlighting our volunteers work, thus encouraging further engagement,” said Ms Braune

Vyrnwy Reservoir Dam – picture by Elgan Hearn

Powys County Council planning officer Charis Denham said: “The application is a small terraced building within the boundary of Llanwyddyn Conservation Area and therefore appropriate regard must be given to preserving and enhancing the character and appearance of the building, its setting and the surrounding area.

“The submitted details confirm that there will be no external alterations to the fabric of the building.

Due to this, Ms Charis, did “not consider” that the development will have an unacceptable adverse impact on the character and appearance of the building, its setting or the conservation area.

As the scheme complied with “relevant planning policy” Ms Denham approved the proposal giving it “conditional consent.”

But while supporting the application Llanwddyn community councillors did have a gripe about the scheme as they say the change of use has already happened.

Llanwddyn council locum clerk, Ann Wilson said: “Members were disappointed that this was a retrospective application.”

“Llanwddyn community council resolved that members had no objections to the change of use to a community hub but are concerned that the rest of the area would be lost to local retails.”