Plan to turn historic church and schoolhouse into holiday accommodation withdrawn

A controversial application for holiday accommodation at a historic chapel and schoolhouse has been withdrawn. Bob Curry, of VJC Holiday Properties Ltd, applied to Conwy ’s planning department, seeking permission for a change of use of Carmel Welsh Presbyterian Church on Chapel Street, Conwy.

The chapel is a Grade II-listed building within the walls of the medieval town and within feet of Plas Mawr, which is considered one of the UK’s finest Elizabethan town houses. Mr Curry wanted to develop both the church’s interior and exterior and demolish at least part of the existing building, although the area he wished to remove is not part of the original structure.

The council received 15 letters from neighbours against the plans, as well as objections from Cllr Sian Grady and the town council. The application has since been withdrawn.

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Objecting to the proposal, resident Janice Cambridge wrote: “The size, scale, and intensity of use of the property as a massive holiday let, in an already congested street, places pressure on our community impacting local amenity and character. Whilst Conwy is dependent on tourism, it also has to function as a living, working town to maintain its long-term success for the benefit for all.”

Martin Hill also wrote: “Conwy is fast becoming a totally second-home town, with all the drawbacks that brings and very few positives. The application for more tourist accommodation is not beneficial to the town.” He also said there was a lack of parking spaces and raised the issue of disruption caused by the building process.

Resident Fu Lian Doble was also unhappy about the plans. “Firstly, I am a long-term resident of Conwy, living just a few doors down from the chapel. Parking is already constantly a massive problem. The road is already incredibly tight, and residents find it hard to find parking for all their vehicles.

“Furthermore, if this plan was to be seen through, this is dangerous as ambulances and emergency vehicles would not be able to get up (the road).”

Cllr Sian Grady also wrote a letter of objection. “Sadly, the local community is being overpowered by holiday accommodation, which is having an adverse effect on the town,” she wrote. “It should be the utmost priority to strike a balance between the two to sustain the economic growth of the town, keeping the local community, Welsh culture, and history alive.”

Conwy Town Council also objected to the plans due to the impact it could have on the area, including parking.

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