Posted: Sun 10th Dec 2023

Anglesey Caravan Site Denied Year-Round Opening Amid Concerns of Setting “Dangerous Precedent”

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Dec 10th, 2023

An Anglesey touring caravan site has been told it can’t open all year round amid fears it would open “a can of worms”.
Anglesey County Council’s planning and orders committee was warned that if it granted permission it could set “set a dangerous precedent” by opening the door to other site operators seeking similar permission.
Bryn Goleu caravan park, on the Cartio Môn site, Bryngwran requested to open 12 months of the year, instead of just operating in the summer and spring.
At its November 1 meeting, the committee had gone against the planning officer’s recommendation and gave the site permission.
But the matter was brought back to the committee, yesterday (Wednesday, December 6) when it reversed the decision.
An application submitted by Martin Neil Williams said: “We would like to remove the condition so that the site can be used throughout the year.
“This will ensure that the site’s running costs will continue to allow the site to be a viable business.
“There is a high demand in touring pitches in winter months.
“This will not only reduce the amount of car park campers and will benefit local businesses with economic gain.
“The site was open throughout the winter months following the Covid pandemic, this proved to be a great success without any problems.”
Local member Councillor Gwilym O Jones spoke in favour of the proposal.
He said: “The site is well known, it is the former Cartio Môn site, due to personal circumstances the family have had to change tack, they now have a caravan site.
“It is a very good site for this sort of provision, in terms of highways, there are no problems.”
He added that local community council were “unanimously in favour” of the application and there was “total support” locally.
“When Mr [Mark] Drakeford [Wales’ First Minister] allowed people to stay on caravan sites during the lockdown people used local businesses, the local pubs and shops and so on, so certainly it would be beneficial for local business if this was approved.
“I kindly ask you to stick to your decision.”
He also asked the councillors not to compare one application with another, arguing: “It does not set a precedent for other applications, permission is given to a specific application.”
But planning officer Rhys Jones disagreed, saying the reason permission was given last time was that it had been interpreted that the proposal was “in line with policy TWR 5, which did not specifically prohibit year round use of touring caravan sites”.
He added: “But I stated a number of times, although that policy did not prohibit year round use specifically, it’s obvious from the title and criteria of the policy the intention is for seasonal touring use.
“Permanent use was to be considered under another policy – TWR 3.”
Since the November decision, the planning department had received “a number of enquiries from planning agents, owners, and site operators asking if they can operate for 12 months of the year,” he said.
“By allowing this, it would create significant risk of setting a precedent, other operators will expect the policy to be interpreted in the same way,” he stated.
Cllr Liz Wood said: “If we approve this application, contrary to the officer’s advice, we are opening a can of worms in my opinion.”
Cllr Robin Williams, agreed, adding: “As Liz said, we would be opening a proverbial can of worms.
“I thought we could suggest doing things differently, maybe opening for 10 months, but that could also open a can of worms.”
He proposed going with the officer’s recommendation this time, and refusing the application.
The vote was unanimous, and permission was refused.

By Dale Spridgeon – Local Democracy Reporter

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