THE OWNER of one of seven park homes at a Conwy residential site which it was denied planning permission for says he fears the decision will mean “putting 12 OAPs (old-aged pensioners) on the street”.

Conwy County Borough Council issued an enforcement notice regarding the homes, at Bryn Gynog Park on Hendre Road, in January 2021.

An appeal was then made by Wyldecrest Parks Ltd, the site owners, to a Welsh Government planning inspector, which was rejected.

Following a two-day appeal and a site visit in December, inspector Richard E Jenkins gave his decision in April.

John Snowden, who will have lived at the home on the site with his wife for three years in July, believes that planning permission was rejected to the homes’ proximity to a flood plain.

Despite this, Mr Snowden is adamant that the risk of flooding to the area is minimal at best.


LIVE: Votes are counted in North Wales' 2022 local elections

Bournemouth man caring for Great Orme goats promises herd will be in ‘goat heaven’

Ban and suspended sentence for Conwy man who did not complete breath test

Mr Snowden said: “The only stumbling block we’ve got after the report is put in is flooding.

“The council have dug their heels in and think they can prove a point. Where we’re positioned, the river is at least 15 feet below we are.

“If the river floods, you can kiss goodbye to about 20 houses in Gyffin, the chip shop, the school, but the flood risk here is zero.

“We are on a flood plain, I won’t argue with that, but they’ve given planning permission for a good 15 houses opposite us, and at the back, which are below us.

“There’s a 14th or 15th century church below us that’s never flooded. During the big floods last February, the highest it got here was that the river rose a good foot and a bit, but other than that, nothing. It never came anywhere near us.

“This bit of the flood plain would never flood. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

“It’s just stupid. They (council) don’t consider anything, and they throw money down the drain. It’s totally unnecessary, because it will never flood.”

Indeed, a Flood Risk Assessment was submitted by the appellants which concluded that the flood risks at the site were not great enough prevent development.

It was argued that the finished floor levels of the homes would be above flood levels and that the site’s arrangement would only be affected in extreme circumstances.

Though, Natural Resources Wales noted that this development used published flood map data, with no site-specific detail or hydraulic modelling, and also raised concerns about impacts on the access road leading to the homes.

Mr Snowden added that he, like many other of the seven park home owners, are pensioners and is worried for the future, should the issue not be resolved or should they not find alternative arrangements within the 12-month notice period given.

He said: “We’re all OAPs on here. We all know there’s a housing problem in North Wales. They’re just putting 12 OAPs on the street, who the council have got to find houses or accommodation for.

“It’s just ridiculous. This is an economical way, in our old age, to live. It costs me somewhere in the region of £450, including my council tax, to live here. It’s affordable housing.

“Some of them (owners of the seven park homes) have been here for nearly five years. The council have brought up every sort of thing – otters in the river, seagulls in the river; every time we went to a tribunal, they brought up something new.

“We’re all in the same boat. The other thing is, if somebody wants to sell their home, legally, they can’t, because they haven’t got planning permission for it, so they’ll have to move it for somebody to buy it.

“One person is seriously considering moving, but can’t put it on the market. Wyldecrest have assured us they will look after us. It’s not Wyldecrest who have put us in this situation, it’s the council.

“The rest of us don’t want to move. We’re quite happy in Conwy; we chose Conwy to live in because it’s a nice town, and my wife doesn’t drive, so we’ve got a bus down the road, or can walk into Conwy, so it’s perfect.

“It’s very frustrating; you’re banging your head continuously. I guarantee that if we get the flooding issue sorted, they’ll come up with another one, like the fact that we can’t tractors through here.

“I’ve put an appeal in, (and) Cadnant Planning are also supporting us with a further appeal.”

Mr Snowden added that, while it is possible to relocate the park homes, they are not designed to be moved and it would take a rolling chassis or low loader to do so.

Alfie Best, chairman of Wyldecrest Parks, confirmed that a site licence was issued for the entirety of Bryn Gynog in 2018.

Mr Best also offered his support for residents such as Mr Snowden, adding that all possible options are being considered.

He said: “We echo entirely the view of the residents… all options are currently being explored in order to resolve this.”

Bryn Gynog’s use as a residential park dates back to the 1960s, with the number of caravans or park homes at the site not restricted.

A council spokesperson added that the authority will do what it can to support the residents of the seven homes within the 12-month notice period.

The spokesperson said: “Conwy County Borough Council’s Planning Enforcement team informed the caravan site owner that the development was unauthorised when the initial ground works took place without consent.

“However, the development continued, with the caravans being sited on the land and sold to the current occupiers. An application was submitted but it was refused.

“The appeal was subsequently dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate, mainly as the site is situated in a flood risk area where new development is discouraged.

“The decision was made taking into account Welsh Government Flood Risk Policy and advice from Natural Resources Wales.

“We understand that this must be a very difficult situation for those caravan owners/residents who find themselves having to relocate.

“The notice gives them 12 months to seek alternative arrangements, and we will offer what assistance we can.”

Attempts were also made to contact Cadnant Planning and Welsh Government.