RESIDENTS and politicians say they are “extremely disappointed” after plans were granted for a 366 home development in Bangor.
Lesley Griffiths, the Welsh Government’s cabinet secretary for the environment and rural affairs, has accepted a recommendation by the Planning Inspectorate to grant planning permission to develop an estate at Pen y Ffridd, Penrhosgarnedd, Bangor.
The development – one of the biggest in Gwynedd – had been fought by councillors and residents for the past few years.
Residents and local councillors warned the development would put an “enormous strain” on services, affect traffic, infrastructure costs and be detrimental to the Welsh language.
Plaid Cymru’s Bangor members had rejected the planning application by Morbaine Ltd at a Gwynedd Council planning meeting.
Gwynedd councillor Gareth Roberts representing Dewi Ward, said: "We stand firm. Residents have grave concerns regarding a development of this size coming to the ward.
“Our public services are already overstretched. I am certainly not convinced that the number of houses offered within the plan is proportionate to the area.
“It certainly changes our environment and our community, we are bitterly disappointed with the Welsh Labour Government’s decision.”
Glyder ward Plaid Cymru councillor Elin Walker-Jones said: “There is no doubt that a development of this size has a huge impact on the lives of Bangor residents. I’m concerned the infrastructure is not in place for us to deal with a development of this size.
“It is hugely disappointing that the Welsh Government’s cabinet secretary does not even acknowledge our concerns. It shows a complete indifference by the Welsh Government.”
Pen y Ffridd resident Howard Huws, who launched a petition last year, said: “It is not the end of the fight yet.”
“Lesley Griffiths ignored the concerns of the community, also the findings of a language assessment and recommendations by Bangor town and Gwynedd councils. She’s just steamrollered through them.
“Hanfod’s language impact assessment of the development at Pen-y-Ffridd is based on reliable data and judges that the full development of 366 housing units would lead to an overall decrease in the Welsh-speaking population of the immediate area from 52 per cent to 42 per cent.
"The Government is actively undermining the existence of Welsh as a living community language.”
Siân Gwenllian, Plaid Cymru Assembly Member for Arfon, said: “There’s no question that new housing is needed for local people, but they need homes of the right type in the right location and at a rate acceptable to the local area.
“I’m very disappointed that the application had been approved. I am concerned that this development is far too large for the area.”