HUNDREDS of residents gathered to protest against a planned housing development they say is too intensive.
The crowd assembled ahead of controversial plans for 110 homes being recommended for approval at a planning committee meeting today (August 9).
The plans put forward by Beech Developments for two to four bedroom houses, with 33 allocated as affordable housing, on the corner of Pentywyn Road and Marl Lane in Deganwy has received more than 1,300 objections.
Officers from Conwy Council’s planning committee went to the site on Tuesday where they were greeted by 150 protestors chanting “no more in Marl”.
Many residents believe ‘enough is enough’ and have raised concerns over the impact on traffic, GPs, schools, shops and also the loss of agricultural land.
Despite the objections, Conwy’s planning committee is expected to grant conditional permission when the plans are put forward.
Cllr for Marl Ward, Susan Shotter said she was ‘disappointed’ to hear the application was recommended for approval.
She said: “It felt like all the hard work we and the residents had put in to object, had little impact on the decision on the planning officer. It actually feels that public consultation caries very little weight in the overall decision making when dealing with a large scale development.
“Residents are already concerned regarding the lack of NHS spaces at dentists, without the extra stress this development will place on our doctor surgeries and primary schools. Over development of the Marl Ward will continue, there is another outlined application for 54 houses on Marl Lane. It is very frustrating.”
Resident Dawn Rhodes, 45 said: “As a lifelong resident of Deganwy I object to the over development of the area for financial gain. There is no lack of housing in the area, a visit to any estate agents proves that. The council are not listening to the residents when there is such a huge amount of objections - it's pure arrogance.”
Resident of Marl Ward Helen Roberts also added: “We have had so much development in the last few years that we have lost too much of our green space, we don't have the robust infrastructure and the doctors, schools etc are under terrific pressure. I am also concerned that the land is not within the LDP and that there have been over 1000 objections. Surely it is time to question the need for housing, when the houses are not affordable to our most in need.”
Cllr Mike Priestly admitted he was ‘gobsmacked’ to find the application had been recommended for approval.
He said: “I was really pleased residents turned out to show the planning committee their concerns for planning on the site. I have never seen this many objections on a planning application. They have got to listen to the people.
“I am not anti-development, but this is clearly in the wrong place.”
A spokesperson for Beech Developments said: “We hope that Members will take a balanced view on the day and reach an unbiased decision.
“The Council state that there is a significant need for housing and in particular, local affordable housing in the area. The scheme proposes 110 new sustainable 2, 3 and 4-bedroom homes encompassing 33 affordable homes to offer to the needs of the community.
“There is a substantial amount of interest from local people wanting to purchase a house on the development. The Welsh Government Help to Buy-Wales scheme gives an ideal opportunity for people to climb on or up the property ladder with a minimal deposit.
“Over 90% of our homes are sold without a brick being laid so how can people argue that there is no need for the homes?
“The scheme will result in over £3M in local community benefits including open space, allotments, schools, library and affordable housing and contributes directly to the local economy in terms of employment and sourcing local materials and services.
“Llandudno, Deganwy, Llandudno Junction, Penrhyn Bay and Conwy are seen as a major strategic hub for employment and an area to concentrate housing growth as part of the Local Development Plan (LPD). However, there are not enough suitable sites allocated in the LPD to accommodate growth in this area.
“The site was identified for housing in the Joint Welsh Government / Conwy Council Master Plan for Llandudno Junction and was previously allocated as a contingency site in the Urban Development Plan (UPD) / Conwy Local Development Plan. And, so the principle of development on this land has long been established.
“The proposal looks to improve the area in terms of drainage and flood risk. It is ideally located to nearby housing and constitutes a rounding off of the settlement. There is adequate capacity in the local road network to accommodate the development in line with accepted standards and guidance.
“Whilst there has been concerns raised regarding capacity at Deganwy School the development is located in the catchment area for Ysgol Awel Y Mynydd in Llandudno Junction.”
Protestors will be meeting outside of Bodlondeb council offices at 1.30pm on Wednesday, August 9 prior to the committee meeting.