Rejected Anglesey leisure park scheme now approved

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Media captionThe development will be based at three sites at Penrhos, Cae Glas and Kingsland

Controversial plans for an 800-lodge resort at a country park on Anglesey have been approved, after initially being rejected last month.

There were shouts and cheers as developer Land & Lakes had its proposal passed by five votes to three.

The company claims its "quality destination" in Holyhead will create 600 jobs.

A special planning meeting took place in Llangefni because last month's refusal went against officers' advice.

Protesters both for and against the project gathered outside the council offices before the meeting began.

Land & Lakes said last month it would appeal if the original decision was not reversed.

The plans for the project had again been recommended for approval on Wednesday.

Image caption A protest outside the council offices in Llangefni was held before the meeting began

Following the meeting Councillor Aled Morris Jones, who is responsible for economic development, said: "Today's decision sends a strong message that Anglesey remains an island of enterprise.

"The application itself includes various agreements with the applicant all geared towards boosting local employment and local business supply chain.

"This is a positive decision in terms of the long-term economic benefits this project will bring, not only for the local community but the island as a whole."

The council said the application was rejected by councillors last month due to concerns it would have a detrimental effect on Anglesey's Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and lead to over-development in the countryside.

Following the latest vote, Osian Jones of Welsh language campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg - which opposed the plans - said: "We are very disappointed to hear the news today.

"The company and the planning department have stated that there's no need to hold a language impact assessment of the development, which demonstrates its clear flaws.

"This development isn't sustainable because it will undermine the Welsh language as well as the environment."

The development will be based at three sites at Penrhos, Cae Glas and Kingsland.

Penrhos is proposed as the base for the leisure resort, hosting approximately 500 lodges and cottages plus a water park.

There will also be a sports hall, spas, saunas, restaurants, and walking and cycling routes.

Cae Glas will be used in the short term to house workers building the planned Wylfa B nuclear power station and will also be home to a hotel, football and cricket pitches.

It will later be turned into an extra 315 lodges and a nature reserve will be created.

'Last resort'

The Kingsland site was proposed to have had 360 houses used for construction workers building on the Cae Glas site before being turned into residential housing.

That number has been cut to 320.

Following the previous planning decision, Land & Lakes chief executive Richard Sidi said an appeal would be the "last resort".

"I'm shocked [with the refusal] after three years working with the planning officers who imposed quite extensive conditions," he told BBC Wales.

"I'm equally shocked at the reaction from the local people. We've had nearly 100 people begging us not to give up on the project."

Land & Lakes has been working with land owners Aluminium Metals, Anglesey council and the Welsh government on the matter.

The former smelting works at the Anglesey Aluminium Metals site was closed in 2009 and put up for sale the following year, with offers invited in the region of £10m.

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