Abersoch hotel and social housing offer 'inadequate'

White House Hotel, Abersoch The proposed development would demolish the eyesore White House Hotel

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Plans for a £7.8m five-storey hotel in Abersoch are set to be turned down after developers offered only £150,000 towards social housing in the village.

The White House Hotel "eyesore" would be demolished and replaced with a 42-bedroom hotel and 18 apartments, creating local jobs.

But a report before Gwynedd council says a contribution towards new affordable homes is "inadequate".

Its rules require such developments to include 30% towards social housing.

Manchester-based developers Broomco propose replacing the White House Hotel with a development over twice as large and four and a half times as high, including a restaurant, conference facility and spa.

The report accepts the proposed hotel would boost the number of hotel rooms in the popular holiday resort by 25%, add £1.5m to the local economy and bring up to 120 jobs at peak season.

Helicopter pad

But the village has "problems with housing affordability," the report notes, with 72 people on the housing waiting list.

Meanwhile, some of the exclusive properties in the area have a helicopter pad in the grounds.

Two properties valued at £3.5m are currently being offered for sale in the village.

The report before councillors says: "It must be acknowledged that there would be benefits to this development, including economic benefit.

"We must also acknowledge the need for affordable housing in the area and the problems that exist with the affordability of houses in the area."

It adds that experts commissioned by the council found the developers' offer of £150,000 "does not reflect what we would have expected".

The local authority's planning rules expect residential developments to include a 30% social housing element or cash equivalent to build a similar number of "affordable units" nearby.

The proposal is recommended for refusal at Monday's planning committee meeting.

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