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Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd hotel plans spark fears about light pollution

Mr S Roberts of Clwyd Gate Ltd has submitted two planning applications to Denbighshire County Council, sparking concerns about light pollution at the Clwyd Gate Motel at Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd.

DENBIGHSHIRE residents have raised fears about light pollution, following two planning applications being submitted by a hotel to the council’s planning committee.

Mr S Roberts of Clwyd Gate Ltd has applied to Denbighshire County Council, seeking planning permission to convert a former cowshed and generator outbuilding into a holiday accommodation unit at Clwyd Gate Motel at Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd.

If granted permission, the holiday let would be a one-bed self-contained holiday let, including an open-plan kitchen, bedroom, living area, and separate en suite bathroom.

People renting the unit will have full use of the facilities in ‘the Manor’ including hot tub, swimming pool, games room, and parking.

A paved pull-in/drop off area is proposed to the side of the building off the existing lane.

The hotel has submitted a second retrospective application seeking permission for the provision of external alterations, including lighting and associated works, which are recommended by officers to grant.

But residents say the area is an Area of Natural Beauty and claim light pollution is already spilling from the hotel in a Dark Skies Zone.

Denbighshire’s planning officers have recommended councillors refuse the cowshed plans. Officers say the plans offer less than the minimum required amount of floorspace whilst the scale of the conversion is a 260% increase in size in a countryside area.

But the council officers have advised that the committee should be minded to grant the retrospective planning permission for external lighting alterations.

Councillors will discuss the proposals at a planning committee meeting on Wednesday after receiving several objections.

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Martyn Parry sent a letter of objection to the council.

“I object to the granting of planning permission for this application on three grounds, all of which concern light pollution and the environment,” the letter reads.

“The excessive use of exterior lighting left unnecessarily switched on throughout the night, almost every night, shows no concern for the environment.

“This wasteful use of electricity contributes in its own small way to global warming. Secondly, as The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) plans to submit a bid for global recognition as a Dark Sky Zone, the light pollution from the Clwyd Gate Motel will diminish the benefit of such a venture.”

The letter went on to say the light pollution also disturbed neighbours.

Mr Parry added: “At night this may just as well be a floodlight as far as the properties in front of the motel are concerned. My bedroom ceiling is well illuminated even with the curtains closed. Granting permission for this application will only lead to further pollution and annoyance to its neighbours.”

Nick Snape also wrote: “There are two principal issues of concern and objection: light pollution and insufficient parking.

“Although it has been nice to see the refurbishment of the Motel/ABNB, the impact of the extremely intrusive and unnecessarily excessive exterior lighting on the area is very significant, particularly taking account that this is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

Resident Keith Lovatt wrote a letter of objection to the retrospective planning application for external lighting.

“The exterior lighting is an issue and should be reduced,” he wrote.

“My main concern is the chandelier which is in the front elevation window on the second floor – the window which appeared overnight along with removal of all trees screening the front of the building when work commenced back in May 2020,” he wrote.

“The chandelier is left on most nights whether the building is occupied or not and illuminates the surrounding area, remembering we are in AONB and Dark Skies Area.”
Both sets of plans will be discussed at a planning committee meeting on Wednesday at Ruthin’s County Hall HQ.

Mr S Roberts of Clwyd Gate Ltd was contacted for a comment.