North West Wales

Holyhead tourist village plan prompts online petitions

Campaigners have launched an online petition in an effort to stop an Anglesey coastal park being used for a new holiday and leisure development.

Land and Lakes says its "eco-tourism destination" at Penrhos near Holyhead will create up to 600 jobs.

Some residents support the plans, but others oppose the loss of a popular open space used by tens of thousands.

The land is owned by Anglesey Aluminium which says it wants to replace jobs lost when it stopped producing metal.

'Socially important'

The online petitions were set up in November by sisters Jenny and Liza Jones, who have spent the past few days delivering campaign Christmas cards to houses in Holyhead to raise awareness of the proposals.

Within a month of its launch, one petition had been signed by 220 people and the other, on the Welsh assembly's website, had over 150 signatures.

"We believe that it is a cherished and loved landscape, and it is socially important to the people of Holyhead to have their coastal park," said Jenny Jones.

"We call upon our local councillors and our MP, Albert Owen, to recognise that, and to realise how distressed people are at the thought of losing the nature reserve."

Mr Owen said in May that manufacturing jobs and tourism could co-exist on Anglesey, although it was a matter of getting the balance right.

The Penrhos coastal park is owned by Anglesey Aluminium, which ended metal production at its nearby factory in 2009 with the loss of 400 jobs.

Around 85 people still work at the site, mainly melting down aluminium ingots to produce aluminium bars, known as billet.

Image caption The coastal park is a popular open space visited by up to a hundred thousand people a year

In early 2011 Anglesey Aluminium signed an agreement with developers Land and Lakes, which wants to build about 500 lodges and cottages on the coastal park, along with cafes, bars, shops and sports areas.

Land and Lakes said a public exhibition in October was attended by 700 visitors, of whom 121 provided feedback with 67 of those being in favour of the proposals.

Speaking at the time, its chief executive Richard Sidi said the company's objective was to create "a destination leisure village of national significance to provide a sustainable economic legacy for the area".

He added that Land and Lakes took the public's concerns about access to the coastal park very seriously, promising that the company would report back in the new year.

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