£100m Holyhead marina overhaul gets go-ahead
A £100m redevelopment of Holyhead Marina which will include new homes, a hotel and a maritime museum has been given the go-ahead.
Anglesey councillors granted outline planning permission for a 500-berth marina, despite 4,000 people having signed protest petitions.
Objectors are concerned about the impact on Newry beach and say the homes and a bigger marina are not needed.
Protesters packed the public gallery of the council chamber in Llangefni.
The plans, put forward as a joint venture between Stena Line and the Conygar Investment Company, were voted through with seven votes in favour and none against.
The proposals, which have been adapted in response to initial complaints from locals about loss of views, include:
- 326 homes, a mix of apartments and houses.
- Buildings for commercial and leisure use
- A new youth centre
- A public beach area
- A new maritime museum and visitor centre
It is understood 700 jobs will be created by the new marina and its construction.
Councillor John Chorlton voted in favour of the plans.
He said: "Holyhead has to reinvent itself and look at the bigger picture.
"What's the future for our youngsters?"
Mr Chorlton said that "every major development near Holyhead" had been opposed by people who were opposed to development if it was in their locality.
He looked to the public gallery and commented: "You can look over the roofs of the houses.
"If you carry on this way, there won't be a future for Holyhead. You're putting a gate on the Four Mile Bridge and saying 'don't come here, we're all dead'!"
Anglesey council received about 370 individual letters of objection, together with eight petitions containing some 4,170 names.
One letter of support had been submitted at the time the council report into the development was written.
Councillor J Arwel Roberts told the committee: "I can't support this plan.
"It's a private company coming in for its own gain. Yes I want to see jobs and investment in Holyhead and, yes, Holyhead has employment problems.
"So it's with a heavy heart that I say I can't support this. To take the Newry Beach area away from residents is not acceptable."
Councillor Robert Llewelyn Jones, who represents part of the area where the new marina will be built but is not a member of the committee and was not able to vote, told the committee: "The developer is asking for permission to take away the only public seafront that Holyhead has.
"If you've got a promenade, you've got to have a view. That will disappear.
"The flats and apartments will have a view, and I'm sure they'll be worth a lot of money, though they'll be too expensive for local people of course."'Innovative mixed-use marina'
Robert Ware, chief executive of Conygar, said he was delighted that the council had granted planning permission for the marina development.
"It has been a massive effort by all concerned and this exciting and ambitious regeneration scheme which should bring significant benefits to the town and area can now move forward with confidence," he said.
Michael McGrath, area director for Stena Line, said: "The proposed marina development at Holyhead is not only an important facility for the people of Holyhead and surrounding area but it also represents a significant opportunity to help drive future economic prosperity across the region with the provision of one of the most innovative mixed-use marinas in the UK."