RSPB WIN PARK­ING AP­PEAL

Plan­ning in­spec­tor over­turns re­fusal for con­tro­ver­sial me­ters at South Stack re­serve:

Bangor Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Gareth Wyn Wil­liams

THE plan­ning in­spec­torate has over­turned a coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to refuse plans for pay and dis­play park­ing me­ters at a pop­u­lar beauty spot.

In June, An­gle­sey coun­cil’s plan­ning com­mit­tee turned down bids by the RSPB to in­stall the con­tro­ver­sial me­ters at Elin’s Tower and the vis­i­tor’s cen­tre car parks at South Stack near Holy­head.

Plan­ning of­fi­cers rec­om­mended plans should be ap­proved, but elected mem­bers turned them down amid con­cerns over the resid­ual im­pact on the area due to mo­torists park­ing on nar­row coun­try lanes to avoid pay­ing the charges.

But the Plan­ning In­spec­torate ruled in favour of the char­ity af­ter the RSPB lodged an ap­peal.

The au­thor­ity could now be forced to pay sig­nif­i­cant costs to the RSPB af­ter fail­ing to per­suade Gov­ern­ment-ap­pointed in­spec­tors.

Ac­cord­ing to Kay Sh­effield, who was ap­pointed to carry out the in­ves­ti­ga­tion for Welsh Gov­ern­ment min­is­ters, An­gle­sey Coun­cil had failed to demon­strate the harm to high­way safety that would arise from the pro­posed in­stal­la­tion of park­ing me­ters, on South Stack Road.

Her sum­ming up, notes: “In its ev­i­dence in re­spect of the ap­peals, the coun­cil did not ad­dress its con­cerns re­gard­ing the sit­ing of the park­ing me­ters and sig­nage but fo­cussed on the po­ten­tial ef­fect charg­ing for park­ing might have on the use of the car parks.

“Whilst it claimed the area al­ready suf­fers from sig­nif­i­cant traf­fic con­ges­tion, there is no sub­stan­tive ev­i­dence to con­firm that the pro­posed in­stal­la­tion of park­ing me­ters and as­so­ci­ated sig­nage would re­sult in an un­ac­cept­able in­crease in park­ing on South Stack Road.

“I, there­fore, con­clude that the coun­cil has be­haved un­rea­son­ably hav­ing re­gard to the ad­vice con­tained in the An­nex and an award of costs is jus­ti­fied.”

In re­sponse, an Isle of An­gle­sey County Coun­cil spokesper­son said: “We will care­fully con­sider the in­spec­tor’s find­ings.”

An RSPB spokesper­son said: “RSPB Cymru wel­comes the de­ci­sion by the Plan­ning In­spec­torate to per­mit the in­stal­la­tion of ticket ma­chines at our South Stack Cliffs na­ture re­serve.

“We know our de­ci­sion to in­tro­duce charges for ve­hi­cle own­ers who are not RSPB mem­bers has caused con­cern, and dur­ing the sum­mer we an­nounced sig­nif­i­cant changes to our orig­i­nal pro­pos­als in­clud­ing a trial con­ces­sion rate for An­gle­sey res­i­dents.

“We have con­tin­ued to lis­ten to con­cerns, and will make a fur­ther an­nounce­ment about our plans once Isle of An­gle­sey coun­cil has de­ter­mined a sep­a­rate ap­pli­ca­tion to ren­o­vate part of the Vis­i­tor Cen­tre.”

AR­WYN ROBERTS

The plan­ning in­spec­torate has over­turned the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to refuse park­ing me­ters at South Stack in An­gle­sey Pic­ture:

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