Plans for 36 new homes on the outskirts of Holyhead have received principled backing by the narrowest of margins, despite concerns that the local road network can’t accommodate them.
Meeting on Wednesday, Anglesey Council’s planning committee passed the application, with conditions, at Cae Rhos on Porthdafarch Road only thanks to the chair’s casting vote after members were tied at five votes apiece.
Despite the approval, however, a “grampian condition” was attached to the permission, meaning that work can only start when agreement is reached on traffic calming measures including a proposed one-way system following consultation with locals.
Acknowledging a need for more housing locally, concerns had been raised that the nearby roads could not accommodate more homes, with a strong block arguing for their refusal.
Eight letters of objection had also been submitted by members of the public, citing concerns over an increase in construction and operational traffic, specifically along Arthur Street and Mountain View where its said there are already issues due to the width of the road and visibility available due to parked cars along the street.
With the poor condition of Porthdafarch Road also cited, planning officers had initially recommended refusal on the basis of highways concerns.
But in a last minute change of heart, officers changed their recommendation following talks with the developers, believing that a suitable compromise could be reached.
In a statement on behalf of the developers, it was outlined that the site had been included within the Joint Local Development Plan and had been originally planned to include 56 homes on-site.
Acknowledging “a difference in opinion” over the local roads capacity, they noted a willingness to work with the council and offered £73, 542 towards education provision at nearby Ysgol Kingsland.
Having been reduced from an initial total of 38 down to 36, with four designated as “affordable”, the plans submitted by David and Tom Nevin and Barbara Earnshaw include eight three bed and twenty two bed semi-detached homes and eight two bedroom terraced houses.
But Cllr Trefor Lloyd Hughes forcefully argued against the plans and expressed his “disappointment” that the officers’ recommendation had been changed at the “last minute.”
“This will undoubtedly have an effect on traffic in the area, which were built for coaches and horses but every house seems to have two or even three cars these days,” he said.
“I simply cannot go with the recommendation and would ask that you refuse this today, I can’t see a resolution at all.”
But with others in favour, members were tied at five votes apiece leaving the committee chair, Cllr Nicola Roberts, to cast the deciding vote in favour of the developers.
The design and access statement accompanying the application, noted: “In terms of the economic benefits, in the short term the proposal will offer employment opportunities and additional spend within the locality during the construction period.
“In the longer term new housing also delivers significant economic benefits including jobs, additional spending in the local economy and an increase to local authority revenue.”