An ornate luxury hotel on the banks of the Menai Strait has been granted permission to extend its accommodation – amid concerns raised over traffic and parking.
The French Gothic-style castle Château Rhianfa had a full application for the erection of a six bedroom ancillary accommodation building with associated development permitted by Anglesey planners.
Committee members approved the proposals at a meeting of Anglesey County Council’s planning and orders committee on Wednesday.
An original application called for a two-storey ancillary accommodation for eight bedrooms at the Victorian building located on the A545 between Beaumaris and Menai Bridge.
But the plans submitted by applicant ‘Hancox’ through agents Gary Johns Architects were amended to just six bedrooms.
The plans were initially revised following planners’ concerns over design, scale and impact on the character of the grade ll listed building
A visit had been made by committee members to the Château Rhianfa in August.
The new development was planned on a disused tennis court in the gardens, at the east of the main buildings, south of the coach house.
The striking building, which boasts panoramic views and private beach was originally built in 1849 by Sir John Hay-Williams, Baronet of Bodelwyddan as a gift for his wife Lady Sarah.
Planning officer Rhys Thomas presented the case to the committee, saying the proposal was now “clearly subservient in its scale and height” because it was a one storey building.
“Other changes included introducing oriel windows and introducing stone cladding to the west elevation.
“It’s considered these changes will address the original concerns of the planning authority.
Among issues, the impact on the listed buildings, gardens and views had also been discussed.
Mr Thomas said “The development is subservient to the main listed building.
“CADW is now satisfied with the application, and no other concerns have been raised.”
He added that the Highways Department was “satisfied with the parking” because there were 65 parking places on the site, for 36 bedrooms, “nearly double the requirement for parking standards.”
However, a local member had raised concerns over parking, saying “consideration should also be made,” regarding staff parking and during events held at he hotel and restaurant.
But the parking was considered to be “sufficient.” the planning officer said.
Adding that the “local member has raised concerns about the effect of the construction on a busy highway, however the applicant will have to submit a construction traffic management plan.”
“So, the recommendation is that the development is approved in line with conditions listed in the report.
Councillor Alun Roberts then spoke, briefly, saying the planners had “listened during the site visit, to concerns raised by myself personally and local residents over traffic, light pollution, the trees and if the plans complimented the current building.
“I am now satisfied there will be a condition relating to traffic. It really is a busy road, which has already been noted in relation to another planning application.” He said.
“There has been accidents near the site because of the nature of the road, unfortunately there are two roads joining the highway nearby, from Llandegfan.
“It isn’t easy to access to the roads and there has been more than one accident.
“My concern is over the cars parked along the road, I hope this condition will address that problem, because it does make it difficult for traffic to see oncoming traffic.”
Cllr Robin Williams said he was ” Satisfied, with what I saw from the site visit and what has been explained today.
“I’m happy to propose to approve the application with additional conditions.”
Councillor Robert Llewelyn Jones then requested information from the highways department, what it thought about the traffic situation.
A Highways Officer replied “There are two roads coming down to the site, Lon Ty Mawr is registered on the highways register and Bryn Teg is a private road.
“There are measures in place such as a mirror to help people joining from those roads. Parking linked to Plas Rhianfa wouldn’t have an impact on that.
“It is just the layout of the road that creates the problem not the application in Plas Rhianfa.”
Councillor Robert Llewelyn Jones asked again “Could you give us some information about any accidents, how many in the area, do you have any idea?”
The highways officer said “I don’t have that information at the moment, but it doesn’t meet the requirement of a site with a high number of accidents, it is not defined as a cluster site for accidents.”
Councillor Robert Llewelyn Jones said: “So do you intend to do anything about it, to make it safer for people?”
The highways officer replied: “I think we are going into a discussion over the use of the junction, rather than the planning application.”
The chair then came in, saying: “I accept your points over road safety Cllr Robert Llewelyn, but we’ll just have to deal with the application as it stands.
“I know it is related but in terms of this application it isn’t relevant as such.”
“So, thank you for your comments, I’m sure the officer will take the message back, and perhaps get some additional information to the councillor about the number of accidents, if at all possible?”
Cllr Robin Williams proposed the application and John Ifan Jones seconded.
The chairman concluded after the vote, “Cllr Roberts and Llewelyn wished to abstain, but that application has now been approved.”