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Gwynedd: Planning row erupts over Moelfre house extension on traditional Welsh estate

WHEN is big too big?

That was the question asked by Anglesey councillors fighting to block planning permission for an extension on a house in the traditional Welsh seaside village of Moelfre.

The plans for ‘Pebbles,’ a home on the Trigfa estate prompted complaints from neighbours.

It was called back to planning by local member Cllr Margaret Murley Roberts for “over-development and traffic issues.”

She highlighted the impact of developments at Trigfa, where properties were being purchased, extended and converted, many for holiday accommodation, and becoming “out of the reach of local people” she said.

Agent for the applicants Jamie Bradshaw defended the scheme saying it was a “modest domestic application.”

Claims over potential use of the property were “untrue” and “an unwarranted attack” on his clients, he said.

The row started after Anglesey County Council received an application to build a single storey rear extension with internal alterations, proposed rear dormer and alterations to a garage and pitched roof submitted by Ian and Louise Brierley, of Higher Wade Hill Mews, Wade Hill Lane, Dobcross, Oldham, through Adrian Williamson of WM Design & Architecture Ltd.

The decision was delayed for committee members to conduct a site visit on July 19.

But on Wednesday, July 26 the application was approved after Cllr Bob Llewelyn proposed accepting planning officer’s recommendations, it was seconded by Cllr Jeff Evans.

During the debate, Mr Bradshaw had said:

“It’s claimed the dormer would be overbearing, it is actually quite modest, lower than the existing ridge and extends out as far as the existing rear main wall, it will not be overbearing or dominant viewed from neighbours’ properties.” He said.

The ground floor extension is “relatively modest and low-lined” – “not harmful” to the character of the area.”

The proposed pitched roof garage was “entirely appropriate” and its games room use did not need consent.

There would be no increase in bedrooms, only “a modest increase” in floor area, no change of occupancy and no vehicle use increase.

“The neighbours have made claims about possible future use of the building and motives of the applicants.

Plans for the games room (IoACC planning documents)

“Not only are these entirely untrue and an unwarranted attack on the character of the applicants,they are more importantly entirely irrelevant.” He said.

“My clients wish to return to the island, which is Mrs Brierley’s birthplace, and to make modest improvements to their home.”

Councillor Margaret Murley Roberts said “when a lot money” was spent extending houses it put them “out reach of local people, forever.”

“They change the appearance and character of our island, concerning Pebbles, I ask when is big too big?

“This is a small estate of small bungalows, the committee knows after visiting on many occasions houses have been purchased, extended and converted to air bnbs and holiday accommodation.

“The majority live here throughout the year, for years, it’s unfair their lives are impacted when a big development like this happens.”

She questioned the need for a games room and why a 1.8m fence and large dormer was allowed.

“Can you in reality consider this development will improve the character of the area?

“I also receive endless complaints about road problems in this exact area, parking on the pavement mothers with prams having to walk in the middle of the road, there’s too much traffic for a narrow road.”

Urging refusal, she feared it would “open the floodgates,” for development.

Cllr Ieuan Williams agreed “wholeheartedly” ” saying the context of the site and place in the local landscape “needed to be respected.”

“None of the bungalows on Trigfa have a dormer going from one gable end to the other” and would be “overbearing and dominant” for neighbours.

A 1.8m fence would “close them in,” the development would impact neighbouring amenities.

“The population triples in summer with the cars up and down, it makes the area dangerous.”

“In answer to w’hen is big too big’ you must put the application in context,” the planning officer concluded.

The back extension was single story, “a metre shorter and it could be built under permitted development without permission, anyway,” he said.

Games room use was “not relevant” to planning and a higher 2m high fence was permitted.

There was no increase in bedroom occupancy, the highways authority had “no objections” and the scheme was not considered “overbearing or dominant.”