THE Welsh Government has upheld Anglesey Council’s decision to allow a major leisure and housing development.
Carl Sargeant, Minister for Housing and Regeneration, announced he would not call in the controversial Land and Lakes development in Holyhead.
Councillor Aled Morris Jones, Anglesey Council’s economic development portfolio holder, said: “The council remains committed to creating a thriving and prosperous economy here on Anglesey and this project will bring with it long term economic benefits for the Island as a whole.”
Anglesey Council’s planning and orders committee initially refused the application, but approved the plans in November.
Planning officers maintained the development would not result in overdevelopment in the countryside, and that any detrimental effect on the AONB would be extensively mitigated by the applicant and therefore satisfied the national policy requirements.
The proposals include a leisure village at Penrhos Coastal Park with up to 500 new lodges and cottages and a leisure village at Cae Glas, Parc Cybi, used initially as a temporary Wylfa Newydd construction workers accommodation complex.
The 315 lodges would then be refurbished as holiday accommodation.
There would also be up to 320 new houses at Kingsland, initially to provide accommodation for Wylfa Newydd workers, before becoming a residential development.
Mr Sargeant’s announced the council had balanced the environmental, economic and other policy considerations, and had regard to the assessments required for major development proposals in an AONB as set out in Planning Policy Wales (PPW).
Richard Sidi, chief executive of Land and Lakes (Anglesey) Ltd, said: “We can now commence satisfying all the conditions and working through the detail of the Section 106 legal agreement. We look forward to strengthening our working relationship with the Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales, Anglesey Council and the community to enable us to move forward with speed.
"We will also be continuing negotiations with Horizon regarding the delivery of accommodation for their nuclear workers”.
The development has sparked controversy, with protests both for and against.
Joe Lock, who organised a campaign in support of the Land and Lakes development, was delighted at the decision.
He said: "As I have previously stated I add my voice to the many others who welcomed the council’s decision and I’m pleased that the assembly have affirmed that.
"The potential for the project to generate much need employment in the area as well as encouraging the development and further investment into Anglesey’s tourist sector cannot be overstated.
" Land and Lakes are already proving themselves as a valuable member of the community by investing in local events and projects as that relationship develops further it can only mean more positives for Holyhead and the Island. "
Hilary Paterson, who Jones led the Save Penrhos Nature Park campaign, said the decision not to call-in the application "came as no great surprise."
She added: "Yet again we the community have not been listened to, we have not had the public Inquiry we deserve.
"There will be over exploitation of our AONB for little economic return, a loss to our historic features and our Welsh language will suffer.
"This planning application departs from many of the IoACC guidance policies.
Hilary added that Natural Resources Wales requested the Welsh Government call-in the application.
She added: "We are at a loss as to why this did not happen. Will they not be happy until they see our beautiful Island sink with over development!