North West Wales

Holyhead marina plans receives support and opposition

An artist's impression of how the marina would look in Holyhead
Image caption An artist's impression of how the marina would look in Holyhead

Campaigners opposed to a new £100m marina development at Holyhead on Anglesey say they are disappointed by the go-ahead for the project.

Anglesey council has granted outline planning permission for the 500-berth development at Newry beach.

One opponent said it would destroy the beach, but a town councillor said the area needed progress.

The developers say it will create 700 jobs, but one economics analyst described that forecast as optimistic.

Prof Peter Midmore of Aberystwyth University said other development across the UK had delivered only half the proposed jobs, in the best case scenario.

Prof Midmore said: "It's very, very difficult to argue against something that will definitely create jobs, but the problem is, I think with many developments - not just marinas - the predications of developers are very rarely tested."

He said the level of jobs proposed and then actually created had "never been tested in the case of any marina in the UK".

But he said at other similar developments, the best "have been around about half the predicted level".

He also added that because of the affects on other parts of a town, in some cases, it could actually lead to fewer jobs in an area.

Despite receiving eight petitions with more than 4,000 names and over 300 letters against the plans, the outline proposals were accepted by councillors on Anglesey at a meeting in Wednesday.

The plans include:

Image caption The marina will be built at Newry beach in the town
  • 326 homes, a mix of apartments and houses.
  • Buildings for commercial and leisure use
  • Hotel
  • A new youth centre
  • A public beach area
  • A new maritime museum and visitor centre

Eilian Williams, the solicitor representing the opponents said after the meeting: "It's not what I wanted, but it is what I expected. The economic argument is always a very forceful argument."

But David Lloyd Williams, of the Newry Beach Residents Association, where the marina will be built, said: "It is absolutely ridiculous to attempt to build an aquatic housing estate on the Newry beach, which is frankly the only amenity in Holyhead.

"It's the only convenience area which everybody enjoys.

"What this scheme will lead to is the destruction of the Newry beach as we know it.

"We already have a very good marina which has been trading now for about 12 years, and still after 12 years trading, half of the berths are not taken up.

"Nobody denies the need for jobs in Holyhead, especially for young people, but this is not the way forward."

However, Anne Kennedy, a town councillor for the ward, said she still supported the development.

"I've always said that these decisions are taken by professional people, long discussions, forensic questioning - which is what we did in the chamber in Holyhead council," she said.

"I was born and bred in that area and I don't give away my heritage lightly.

"We mustn't forget that Stena owns all of the land and they are investing, effectively, in their own property.

"With the lack of investment, nothing progresses, and that I'm afraid is the position with Newry beach at the moment.

"We need additional investment."

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