Plans for six family homes in North Wales are blocked over fears they could be ‘harmful’ to Welsh

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Plans for six family homes in North Wales have been blocked over fears they could be ‘harmful’ to the Welsh language.  

Planning chiefs say the houses, located in the seaside village of Morfa Nefyn, will likely be unaffordable for locals who speak their native tongue.

They are concerned that outsiders who do not speak Welsh could move in and harm the language.

Planning inspector Vicki Hirst explained that the impact of the homes on the Welsh language was one of the reasons for blocking it.

She said: ‘I note the intention to provide Welsh names for the dwellings, the proposed local marketing strategy and the associated benefits to the local economy during the construction phase, but I do not find these to be sufficient to outweigh the potential harm to the Welsh language through the housing not being genuinely accessible to those in the local communities.’ 

Planning chiefs say the houses, located in the seaside village of Morfa Nefyn, will likely be unaffordable for locals who speak their native tongue

Planning chiefs say the houses, located in the seaside village of Morfa Nefyn, will likely be unaffordable for locals who speak their native tongue

They are concerned that outsiders who do not speak Welsh could move in and harm the language

They are concerned that outsiders who do not speak Welsh could move in and harm the language

They are concerned that outsiders who do not speak Welsh could move in and harm the language

This has been given as one of the main reasons to block the plans, along with affordability and the effect on neighbours.

The development of three and four-bedroom houses was proposed in 2019, on the site of an old church.

The upmarket family homes would have a balcony, garage and open-plan kitchen and lounge.

The site is in the picturesque seaside village of Morfa Nefyn, not far from Mount Snowden in North Wales.

However the local authority Gwynedd Council turned down due to a lack of affordability.

Ms Hirst added: ‘I have insufficient information before me to conclude that the proposal would genuinely be accessible to meet the identified need for family homes in the area and would fail to make a contribution towards affordable housing.

‘Equally, in the absence of information in relation to local wages and the likely market price of the houses I am unable to conclude that the proposal would be accessible to those within the local communities that speak Welsh.

Planning inspector Vicki Hirst explained that the impact of the homes on the Welsh language was one of the reasons for blocking it.

Planning inspector Vicki Hirst explained that the impact of the homes on the Welsh language was one of the reasons for blocking it.

Planning inspector Vicki Hirst explained that the impact of the homes on the Welsh language was one of the reasons for blocking it.

The development of three and four-bedroom houses was proposed in 2019, on the site of an old church

The development of three and four-bedroom houses was proposed in 2019, on the site of an old church

The development of three and four-bedroom houses was proposed in 2019, on the site of an old church

‘In the absence of such information I am unable to reach a view that the impact of the proposal on the Welsh Language would not be harmful.

‘Furthermore, as set out above the proposal does not provide for the delivery of affordable housing.

‘Therefore, the potential for any contribution towards the Welsh language as a result of such housing cannot be taken into account.’ 

The developer carried out a Welsh Language Statement which said the homes would have a neutral impact on Welsh.

A 2015 law requires public bodies – such as councils – to build resilient communities, culture and language.

The site is in the picturesque seaside village of Morfa Nefyn, not far from Mount Snowden in North Wales. However the local authority Gwynedd Council turned down due to a lack of affordability

The site is in the picturesque seaside village of Morfa Nefyn, not far from Mount Snowden in North Wales. However the local authority Gwynedd Council turned down due to a lack of affordability

The site is in the picturesque seaside village of Morfa Nefyn, not far from Mount Snowden in North Wales. However the local authority Gwynedd Council turned down due to a lack of affordability

At the planning meeting, Councillor Gareth Jones said: ‘Morfa Nefyn is a coastal village with too many holiday homes, and policy states that only affordable homes should be approved.

‘This would undoubtedly harm the Welsh language by leading to even more incomers moving in.’

It comes just two years after a planning application for 366 houses was rejected for the same reason. 

Gwynedd Council first refused developer Morbaine’s plan for the homes at Pen Y Ffridd in Penrhosgarnedd, Bangor, in April 2016.

The upmarket family homes would have a balcony, garage and open-plan kitchen and lounge. Pictured: Plans for the houses

The upmarket family homes would have a balcony, garage and open-plan kitchen and lounge. Pictured: Plans for the houses

The upmarket family homes would have a balcony, garage and open-plan kitchen and lounge. Pictured: Plans for the houses 

Campaigners argued the development would cut the number of Welsh speakers in the area by at least 10 per cent. 

The Welsh Government wants to have a million speakers of the native tongue by 2050.

Currently around 30 per cent of the population speaks Welsh, with fairly steady growth over the last decade.

Language app Duolingo said Welsh was the UK’s fastest growing language. 



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Written by bourbiza

Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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