PROPOSALS to turn a former Gwynedd care home into a holiday hostel have been turned down.
An application to develop the vacant Penisarwaun Nursing Home was discussed by Cyngor Gwynedd yesterday (Monday, February 6).
The home closed suddenly in 2018 leaving families of the residents in shock and only seven days to find their loved ones new homes.
Planning committee members discussed the proposal’s failure to meet policy, a lack of information over accommodation numbers, parking and traffic issues and the potential for the holiday development to impact the local community.
The plans called for a change of use from a care home to a serviced accommodation hostel for holiday use together with associated warden’s living accommodation.
The applicant was Rhys Griffith through agent Sarinah Farooq of Cadnant Planning.
The property was described as single-storey with two main wings linked in the centre by a flat roof.
The existing building comprised of 30 bedroom, stores, kitchens, sitting rooms, boiler room, bathrooms together with administrative/staff rooms.
No further information had been submitted to confirm how many beds would be in each bedroom.
Bedrooms would be used as a serviced holiday hostel and included provision for a warden/manager’s residential unit, games room, stores and drying rooms.
A new small lobby for the main entrance was the only addition proposed to the existing building.
Concerns were raised it could cause a “significant increase” in the nature and density of the village site as holiday accommodation.
“This may in turn, significantly harm the character, image and nature of the local area and undermine the residential amenities of nearby residents on the grounds of noise nuisance,” the planning report stated.
During a public consultation, the community council considered the application for 30 rooms “excessive”, and on a winding narrow road which could “create difficulties and road hazard”.
There was also potential for an increase in noise impacting nearby residents who also raised parking issues.
The applicants had stated that provision for a warden would allow for 24-hour supervision, minimising “the likelihood any of noise and disturbance arising”.
But public objections included increase in traffic and parking, scale and over development, significant impact on resident’s amenities due to noise, and an excess of similar holiday accommodation in the area.
Planners considered the scheme contrary to policies in the LDP and there was “insufficient information” submitted regarding the number of beds proposed “to fully appreciate its impact”.
It said: “Should there be two bunk-beds in each room this could mean a minimum of 60 and a maximum of 120 (or more) of visitors/residents.”
Planning officer Idwal Williams said: “As submitted the application was considered not acceptable based on the lack of compliance with policies and local and national planning guidance.
“The recommendation was to refuse the application.”
Objector Gareth Griffiths spoke on behalf of Penisarwaun residents who feared it had the “potential to be the largest hostel in the local area by far”.
Among issues he cited scale, noise, parking and traffic, saying it would “flow six times higher, and the one lane into the village was already very narrow”.
Committee members decided to follow the officer’s recommendation to refuse, passed by 11 votes, one abstention, none against.