Maybrook Ferodo Site
The size of the leisure hub building has been contentious. Credit: via planning documents

Developer knocked back on £70m holiday park plan at Ferodo site

Neil Tague

Plans by Maybrook Investments for a leisure-led overhaul of the former brakes factory site have been refused by Gwynedd Council.

Across the Ferodo and neighbouring Plas Brereton sites on the outskirts of Caernarfon, Maybrook had proposed 173 holiday lodges – scaled down in September from 208 – along with 51 new-build holiday flats, a change of use for an existing building to become four holiday flats, and the construction of a leisure hub.

Also include in the project is the reconfiguration and refurbishment of existing industrial accommodation, provision for private water treatment works, car parking and internal roads, along with landscaping.

At present, there is 268,000 sq ft of industrial floorspace on site, around 118,000 sq ft of which would remain following redevelopment.

Branding the scheme as Gwel y Fenai, the developer said that the holiday accommodation has been designed as an ideal fit for the Landal, Greenparks and Hoseasons brands. An economic impact report from October 2019 stated that Landal Greenparks was being lined up to manage the resort.

The professional team is led by Cadnant Planning and Dewis Architecture, and also includes Cambrian Ecology and Cynlas Cyf

The site is divided into two parts, the former Ferodo factory site, derelict since 2008, and the Plas Brereton site, a late Georgian house with associated outbuildings. Both are located on the banks of the Menai Strait between Caernarfon and the village of Felinheli.

The Lôn Las Menai cycle track runs through the sites and forms a pedestrian/cycle link between the two. The upper part of the sites adjoin the A487. Although no buildings within the sites are listed, there are various such structures close by, both on the mainland and across the strait on Anglesey, which is classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

At the Plas Brereton site, the demolition of the stable and coach house buildings was requested. Rhe developer also wants to install 18 lodges and convert the Plas Brereton building into four holiday apartments. Until September’s reduction ,a further 35 lodges would have been housed on this site.

At the Ferodo site, a partial factory demolition was applied for, along with the conversion of the remaining industrial space into nine commercial units.

The main development here would see three storeys of apartments built as part of a leisure hub also including a water park, bowling, soft play, resturants, fast food and a health and wellbeing area.  A total of 96,000 sq ft of leisure and assembly space is listed in the planning application.

Planning officers noted in the papers prepared for committee that no formal pre-application advice had been sought, adding that as the local planning authority, Gwynedd had expressed concern that new documents had not been supplied as the proposals changed.

Several statutory consultees had plenty to say, with flooding risk and impact on the Menai Straits prominent. Natural Resources Wales submitted a lengthy list of issues and offers of guidance. Several consultees brought up the need for further information, for example on contamination and from the biodiversity team, which said that too much time has now elapsed since bat survey data was gathered.

A further objection came from the Isle of Anglesey County Council, which said that the proposal “failed to demonstrate that it would adequately integrate”.

In following the recommendation of officers to refuse consent, Gwynedd’s planning committee gave 13 reasons, including the height of the leisure building, traffic concerns, impact on the AONB, and a lack of information on the impact on existing holiday accommodation in the area.

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So, remaining derelict is a better proposition than a redevelopment is it? Unbelievable.

By Owen