A PIONEERING development where it is claimed the power of sound will be harnessed to heal the body and mind has been approved in rural Gwynedd, despite being described as “something that belongs in the Arctic”.

What is described as a sacred healing acoustic research and enterprise centre will involve four new buildings and a parking area at Sling in Tregarth, near Bangor.

It received the go-ahead from Gwynedd planners by six votes to five, despite concerns from the local councillor and from other members, who questioned the need for such a development in an isolated area.

Cllr Dafydd Owen said: “I can’t see a future for a development like this in the area to be honest.

“I’m very suspicious of the plans, which is very out of character.

"It’s a very isolated area and I hope you will reject the plans.”

The development, proposed by community enterprise company Carreg y Fedwen Cyf, will consist of a main domed acoustic construction connected to an entrance building with a greeting area and office.

It is claimed that that the facility will develop 'tools' and techniques where sound can be used to heal.

Areas of research will include wound healing, encephalitis, ADHD, autism, cancer cells, brain enhancement and mindfulness.

The local community council had also objected, raising concerns that the structures, standing up to 6.4 metres-high, would be unsuitable and would also place an unacceptable burden on the local road network.

Letters of objection were also received from Gwynedd Council, which raised concerns about the additional noise and its visibility being detrimental to the rural landscape.

Committee member Cllr Gruffydd Williams said: “The development looks more than an igloo than anything else, but don’t those belong in the Arctic and not Tregarth?”

The planners' recommendation said: “Essentially, this is an application for a small new rural enterprise that would offer employment opportunities for between two and five people (a number of whom already live close to the site).

“It would also provide the opportunity to diversify the local rural economy and would be a means of using the previously used site for business purposes.”