Flintshire Monestaries December 2019

Flintshire rejects Eccleston’s plans for Welsh monastery demolition

Dan Whelan

Flintshire County Council has refused plans by developer Eccleston Homes to demolish the Poor Clare Collettine Monastery in Hawarden, North Wales, and build 15 homes on the site.

The application, submitted in May, proposed the construction of 15 detached homes on a two-acre site with prior planning permission for residential use. The application was recommended for approval by Flintshire’s planning committee earlier this week but was rejected at a committee meeting on Thursday.

Of the 15  houses, one was intended to replace the existing St Damien’s Lodge, while the remaining 14 would be located within the footprint of the monastery. The application outlined plans for seven different house types with a mixture of brick and rendered external walls.

The site of the proposed development on Upper Aston Hall Lane lies within a green barrier zone, and required the developers to consider the purpose, character and appearance of the surrounding area when submitting its plans. In addition to this, Flintshire is seeking a Section S106 contribution of £55,000 towards secondary education in the local area.

In total, there were three objections to the plans related to the possible impact on existing trees, hedgerows and wildlife, as well as concerns over rising traffic levels and the potential for increased noise and an impact on living conditions.

However, Flintshire’s head of planning had earlier said there were “very exceptional” circumstances as to why the development should go ahead, including the existing lawful residential use of the site and the lack of a five-year housing land supply.

The monastery has been vacant for over a year since the a community of nuns left in November 2018 and relocated to Nottingham due to mounting maintenance costs. At the same time, 18 sisters were disinterred from the cemetery and taken for reburial.

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Staggering to see Planning Committees still ignoring the recommendations of their Planning Officers. So another disused building which will become a magnate for anti-social behaviour and fall into dis-repair – unbelievable!!!

By David Sleath