New home owners 'fuming' over demolition threat

Image caption,
Fernbank is a new development of houses and flats in the seaside town of Llanfairfechan

New home owners are furious after discovering bulldozers could move in to demolish their houses.

The 17 property development is on land that has been earmarked as a possible route for a dual carriageway slip road.

But owners only found out about the plans after moving into their new £150,000 homes at Llanfairfechan in Conwy county over the last few months.

Under plans to remove roundabouts on the A55 expressway, two of five options would see houses demolished.

"We're fuming - because we've only just moved here," said Leanne Herberts, who got the keys to their home on the Fernbank estate in April.

Image caption,
About half the homes are currently occupied

After upping roots in Derbyshire with her partner John and six-year-old daughter, she said she feared the family would have to start all over again.

"We found out by word of mouth that there was a meeting in the community hall in the next village," said Ms Herberts.

"There's not a lot we can do - if it happens - and I think it will, from what people have been commenting."

Her partner said even if the demolition options were ruled out - it could still see part of their back gardens compulsory purchased for landscaping.

"I'm not going to want the house when there's a road going through my garden, am I?" said Mr Herberts.

Image caption,
The homes lie just by the busy A55 junction - their roofs peeping behind the exit sign

Their home is one of nine new houses on the the small estate, along with eight apartments.

About half of the new properties are now occupied, with the majority rented out or holiday lets.

The development was given planning permission back in 2016 on a plot of land close to junction 15 of the A55 road along the north Wales coast.

The Welsh Government launched a consultation in June about removing the roundabout at Llanfairfechan, and a neighbouring one a few miles west at the next junction for Penmaenmawr.

Officials said they informed the local authority at the planning stage that the A55 developments might "alter their proposals or restrict their landscape views" at Fernbank.

Image caption,
The roundabout is one of two set to be removed to improve the road network

"The A55 Junction 15 and 16 improvement scheme is a significant development in north Wales," said a government spokesman.

"We will carefully consider all the comments received from the consultation, which ends on 28 August."

The site's builders Oaking Developments have been asked by BBC Wales if they were aware of the potential threat to the properties from the road project but the developers have so far not commented.

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