Disappointment that Bangor residents and Plaid Cymru’s voice is disregarded as 366 homes development is granted



Local residents and Plaid Cymru Bangor are extremely disappointed that Lesley Griffiths, Labour’s Cabinet Secretary for the Environment has accepted the recommendation of the Planning Inspectorate to grant planning permission to develop 366 homes in Pen y Ffridd, Bangor, Gwynedd.

Plaid Cymru Bangor worked tirelessly to reject the plan to develop the vast number of houses in Bangor due to the required investment needed for the infrastructure of the area, the enormous strain that is already on public services, such as the health service and local schools as well as the huge increase from additional traffic to the area.

Another major factor voiced by Plaid Cymru Bangor in rejecting the proposal to build so many houses in one location was the adverse effect the development is likely to have on the Welsh language of the area.

A number of discussions were held by Plaid Cymru members, with a public consultation called for local residents to air their views. Plaid Cymru members strongly refused the planning application at a planning meeting a few months ago.

Gwynedd Councillor Gareth Roberts responsible for Dewi Ward in Bangor said: "We stand firm on this issue as we have from the outset. Residents of the area have grave concerns regarding a development of this size coming to the Ward. It certainly changes our environment and our community and we are bitterly disappointed with the Welsh Labour Government's decision.”

A public meeting was held in the Ward in October 2016 to hear the views of local people, and local residents were represented by Councillor Roberts, as well as other members of Plaid Cymru’s Bangor Councillors at the appeal meeting. 

"There is no doubt that a development of this size has a huge impact on the lives of Bangor residents. I am concerned that the infrastructure is not in place for us to deal with the increase in population resulting from an approved development of this size in the area,” said Councillor Elin Walker-Jones, Glyder Ward, Bangor.

"We have argued strongly that this development could have a major negative impact on the Welsh language, the culture and heritage of the community. It is hugely disappointing that the Welsh Government’s Labour Cabinet Secretary does not even acknowledge our concerns regarading the Welsh language in her letter. It shows a complete indifference by the Welsh Government," said Councillor Elin Walker-Jones.

Councillor Gareth Roberts said: "Our public services are already overstretched, our schools are full, securing appointments with doctors surgeries is also difficult, the number of vehicles already on our roads is problematic, and I am certainly not convinced that the number of houses offered within the plan is proportionate to the area. " 

"Our work will continue to ensure that members of the Ward are treated fairly, that the Bangor area is treated with respect and that the whole of Gwynedd is not to be adversely affected by development of this magnitude," added Councillor Gareth Roberts. 

Siân Gwenllian, Plaid Cymru Assembly Member for Arfon said: "There's no question that new housing is needed for local people, but they need to be homes of the right type in the right location and at a rate acceptable to the local area. Unfortunately, I'm very disappointed that the application had been approved and I am concerned that this development is far too large for the area. 

"As a party, we will continue to cooperate and press government in London to create a planning inspectorate for Wales rather than the current system of England and Wales."