Plans to erect trendy camping huts near a closed village pub near Denbigh have come under fire from residents.
by Richard Evans
Applicant M. Evans has applied to Denbighshire County Council, seeking permission to build five ‘Rotunda Roundhouses’ on agricultural land at the Kinmel Arms pub in Llandyrnog.
The planning application is set to be debated at a council meeting tomorrow (Wednesday), but many residents have written to the council opposing the plans – although some have also backed the proposals in the hope it will help the pub reopen.
The application seeks to change the use of the land from agriculture, and if the plans go ahead, the timber huts will be used as holiday lets for visitors.
On the Rotunda Roundhouses Facebook page, the huts are described as an ‘all-round, feel-good space. Britain’s only timber-framed, circular, modular buildings for home, business, education, or leisure’.
Resident David Taylor wrote to the council opposing the development.
“The proposed development is in open countryside and not included for any development within the Local Development Plan. On these grounds alone the application should be refused,” he said.
Viviane Allinson said, “The night-time outside activities will include barbecues, drinking, music, and noise without any supervision from the owners – no on-site manager or manager accommodation.
“British holidaymakers are notorious the world over for bad behaviour.”
Margaret Porter added: “Any re-opening of the KimnelArms is not part of this application and should not be confused as being so, despite verbal emphasis to the contrary by a representative for the development at a public meeting on Friday.
“The development will be clearly visible from the main road and from the adjacent public footpath which runs along the northern boundary of the proposed site. In addition, the development will be clearly visible from a number of other public footpaths.”
Glyn Roberts said, “This application is not about the Kinmel Arms.The Kinmel does not need planning permission to open its doors and could have opened the day it was purchased by the applicant.
“Since its purchase the Kinmel has been left to the elements, with no maintenance, intentionally left to rot to now help their cause.If there was such a case for diversification for the farm business, the doors to the Kinmel would have opened a long time ago.”
Jackie Le Fevre said, “The plans show 13 car parking spaces for use of five holiday lodge guests and up to eight staff at a ‘high end’ eatery. Adding five to eight makes 13 – theoretically filling the car park with no room for deliveries, customers, or contractors. Any on-street parking in this area creates a hazard in an area of reduced visibility due to the blind bend.”
But Zoe Owen took a different view.
“Llandyrnog needs a good food pub. I have two adult sons who would use this pub a lot, if open. I enjoy a quiz and an occasional meal. The round houses are the sort of accommodation I would stay in for a holiday, with a pub within walking distance,” she said.
Keith Evans agreed.
“This comprehensive proposal has been clearly laid out,” he said.
“If the establishment of the five pods will help to make the pub/restaurant financially viable in the long term, this must be a good thing for our community, in the current financial climate, where so many rural pubs are closing.Additional employment opportunities are also welcome.”
Ian Hunt also backed the plans. He said, “The application is agreed upon on the understanding that the community gets the Kinmel Arms opened as a pub again.”
Gillian Fraiser said, “I fully support this application as I believe it will be an asset to the village, having low negative impact on the surrounding area and bringing many benefits to the community as a whole.”
In a planning statement in support of the applicant, Addison Design and Development claimed the proposals would benefit the community.
According to the statement, each guest would spend £52 per day within the local area, which means, based on the site being 60% full, the local economy would benefit from an additional £113,880 a year.
The report also states the development would create new jobs.
“The development has always been mindful of its community and how the business will integrate with those already well-established in the area,” the statement reads.
“The development does only seek to provide a diversified income for the applicant but to also support other surrounding local businesses.”
The plans also include an associated storage shed, the installation of a package treatment plant and alterations and extensions to the existing access. Landscaping work will also be carried out on the land, which would include a car park.
Plans included as part of the application show the huts have timber cladding with tiled slate-effect roofing sheets and a UPVC finish. According to the application, the development would not affect any nearby trees or hedges.
Denbighshire County Council’s planning committee will debate the plans tomorrow (Wednesday).