Developers who had plans to build 70 flats at Bangor’s former Jewson site rejected have won an appeal against the decision.
The plans to build 4 blocks of flats incorporating 70 living units, at the former Jewson Ltd, Penlon Works, at the lower end of Bangor High Street, were rejected by Gwynedd Council in January.
The application included 24 one-bedroom units and 46 two-bedroom units, with a total of 13 being designated as affordable units and 67 parking spaces being provided on-site.
Gwynedd planning committee said the appearance and scale of the development would be out of character with the surrounding area and the impact of proposed balconies would infringe on the privacy of the surrounding residential properties.
The developers, Hughes Bros Ltd of Llangefni, lodged a formal appeal with the planning inspectorate against the refusal.
In his report for the planning inspector, Richard Duggan said: “I am satisfied, from the information provided and my own assessment from other parts of the surrounding area, that the scale and appearance of the proposed development would fit comfortably with that of the surrounding area when viewed in this longer-range context.
“In this respect, I do not consider that the scale of the accommodation blocks as proposed would appear as an excessive amount of development for the size of site concerned and the character of its surroundings.”
On the privacy issue, Mr Duggan added: “The extent of the potential for overlooking would not be intrusive for the occupiers of the existing houses and would not exceed what could reasonably be expected in this urban location.”
Previous planning applications for 161 student flats at the site were rejected in 2011, after strong opposition from Bangor City Council and residents who staged protests and sent letters and emails of objection.
The number of units was later reduced to 109 but this was rejected again in 2013, despite an appeal from the developers to the Welsh Assembly government.
Outline planning for the site was originally approved in 2015, but Gwynedd councillors felt a new application varied hugely from the original plans and rejected the plans in January 2019.