A decision to refuse planning permission for safari tents on the Llyn Peninsula has been overturned by Welsh Government inspectors after concluding that the plans would not cause undue harm on the local landscape.

In April, Gwynedd Council’s Planning Committee refused an application by Mr Derek Howarth to construct 12 of the tents at Ty’n y Cae, Llangïan near Abersoch.

According to members of the committee, the development would have an “unacceptable, harmful effect” on the local scenery and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and turned down the bid on the advice of planning officers.

This was despite claims from the applicants that the proposal would provide “considerable economic benefits, ” as well as the direct jobs it would provide considerable spending in the local economy from visitors.

The proposals submitted included erecting 12 safari tents and associated camping area on the land as well as wet room pods, gravel footpaths, two barbecue areas, a children’s play area, parking facilities and a first aid point including a defibrillator for the village of Llangïan.

The tents, all being a green or caramel colour, would  measure approximately 5.4 metres by 9 metres each and were described by the planning agents, Owen Devenport Ltd, as “a prime example of low impact eco-tourism” and could be dismantled and taken away off-season if needed.

Llanengan Community Council were opposed to the application, believing it represented an “over-development of a prominent roadside location and sets a precedent”.

But Joanne Burston, the inspector appointed by the Welsh Government, has decided that the proposal is acceptable – thus overruling Gwynedd Council’s earlier refusal.

She noted in her summing up, “Whilst there would be some short to medium term visual impact at close range from the neighbouring road, the proposal would not be visually intrusive.

“Further afield, the effect would reduce substantially with distance.

“Consequently, taking account of perceptual and experiential factors, as well as physical features, and bearing in mind both the Appellant’s and Council’s visual assessments, in my judgement there would be no overall significant visual impact.”

Gwynedd Council has been approached to comment.