Developers, refused planning permission by a council to convert a Grade II listed former chapel into holiday homes, have won their appeal.
Isle of Anglesey County Council officers rejected an application to turn Capel Bryn Du, Ty Croes near Rhosneigr, into three holiday lets.
The council cited concerns that its location in a residential area would create an “unacceptable” noise impact and cause “general disturbance.”
But the Planning Inspectorate has ruled in favour of the developers, which means the council will have to pay yet to be agreed costs.
Applicants Anthony and Rachael King, who were represented by ERW Consulting, wanted to see the 1901 Calvinist Methodist chapel become a five bedroom holiday unit across two levels, the vestry and schoolhouse becoming a separate two storey four bedroom unit, and another two bedroom holiday unit at the associated outhouse.
But planners judged their proposals to be an “isolated and unsustainable development,” with officers deciding to refuse the plans without going to the planning committee.
An independent inspection was launched, however, after an appeal was lodged with the Planning Inspectorate.
Declan K Beggan, who made the final decision, said: “The appeal property’s former use as a chapel would have generated a material degree of traffic and associated comings/goings that would have varied over time but most likely have been concentrated into the weekends.
“I appreciate there is likely to be an increase over the timespan of the whole week in terms of comings and goings associated with the proposed development as opposed to the site’s historical use.
“However, due to the proposal’s scale, I do not consider any potential increase would be significant in terms of impact on the adjacent residential amenity of nearby properties via noise, general disturbance, or for any other reason, bearing in mind other nearby properties are likely to already generate a noticeable degree of similar such activities throughout the course of the day.”
The local community council offered no objection during the appeal process, with Mr Beggan finding the proposed development to be structurally capable of the proposed works without major re-building works.
“Whilst the proposal is located in a rural area, it is not unduly isolated due to its accessibility via a range of transport options, and accessibility of services in the local and wider area,” he added.
“After taking account of all the evidence before me, I conclude that the appeal should be allowed subject to conditions.”
Conditions attached to the appeal include that work should start within five years and the holiday units may not be occupied as a person’s sole, or main place of residence.
Responding to the Planning Inspectorate’s decision, an Anglesey Council spokesperson said: “Whilst disappointed that the Planning Inspectorate did not agree with the council’s decision to refuse the application, we accept that the inspector may have used his professional judgement and reached a different conclusion.
“Officials will now reflect on what was noted in the decision in order to consider if there are lessons to be learnt.”
According to the applicants’ original planning documents, they would be aiming for the “higher end market” with holiday units capable of accommodating up to ten people said to be rare despite growing demand.
It went on to say, “The proposal would be a much needed facility on Anglesey and also one which will employ and purchase services and goods locally. Any development at Capel Mawr would benefit the local economy from catering and the hospitality industry to taxis and local attractions and bring additional tourism revenue into the county.
“Construction will provide employment for the local construction industry !including buildersʻ merchants and suppliers. When complete the building will bring revenue to the local authority and further economic benefits to local businesses and shops.”