The owner of an empty shop and former office was frustrated at the inability to utilise the building in Abergele. He considered the only way forward was to convert the property into 2 flats and rent them out. His architectural consultant considered that there issues of planning policy to be considered and asked Owen Devenport to provide a planning support statement. This was duly carried out and gave weight to the fact that this property had been marketed for many months and had lain empty for years, without any takers in this depressed economy. There was also evidence of other empty shops in the main shopping zone. After considerable negotiation the Council finally allowed the conversion and the building will now be put to a viable economic use as opposed to deteriorating through non use.

Our client owned a restaurant in Upper Mostyn Street that had a restriction that no takeaway meals were to be provided. An application was made to have this restriction removed but the Local Planning Authority refused permission. In a subsequent appeal Hearing, there were many neighbour objections and the Council felt it would also harm the status of the Conservation Area. The appellant offered to close the take away facility at 11.00pm, but the restaurant had no such restriction. The Planning Inspector however disagreed with the Council that any harm would arise as a result of this takeaway facility. In allowing the appeal he concluded, " The premises already functions as a restaurant and a take-away associated with that use would not undermine the broader aims of (planning) policy. Limiting the opening times...will minimise the adverse impact on occupiers of adjoining properties and preserve the character of the Llandudno Conservation Area."

Denbighshire County Council refused planning permission to change the use of a vacant shop premises into a take away facility. It was their contention that this would be an over provision of 'non-retail' activity in Llangollen town centre. The applicant decided to engage Owen Devenport in the appeal against this decision. A detailed study was prepared by Owen Devenport of the town centre uses as part of the appeal submissions, where it was found that in fact there was not the over-supply of cafes, take aways etc that the Local Planning Authority had suggested. In allowing the appeal the Planning Inspector stated that the survey indicated that the main shopping areas of Llangollen was still dominated by retail (A1) uses and this appeal proposal would not threaten that balance. The shop had also been vacant for some considerable time and the Inspector also felt that in terms of the broader perception of the town centre, the vacant property should be put to beneficial use.

Owen Devenport were instructed to assess the possibilities of extending a small Certificated Location (CL) site in Hen Efail outside Conwy. It appeared that the proposal did conform with policy and so an application was submitted, which had to be termed as a new touring caravan park. A Landscape Architect was brought on board to advise on landscaping and layout, and she ultimately came up with a plan of the proposed site. The application was lodged together with a Planning Support Statement and after much deliberation the application was finally approved in accordance with planning policy by Conwy County Borough Council. And so our client now has a formal approval for a 12 pitch touring caravan park in the picturesque Conwy Valley!

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Owen Devenport successfully bid to Llwyddo Yng Ngwynedd to prepare a brochure and website aimed at assisting Gwynedd farmers to diversify. The aim was to cover all the aspects of considering a diversification project, such as funding, financial advice, planning issues, business planning and training. A comprehensive analysis was carried out of all these issues with extensive interviews with all parties concerned. Case Studies were also identified and set out in the brochure as a guide to the pitfalls and successes of existing diversification projects.

Gwynedd Council refused permission for the diversification projects at Nanhoron Farms. One was for boat storage and the other for an MOT testing station. Owen Devenport were called in following the initial refusals of planning permission and advised the client, Nanhoron Farms, that an appeal would be worthwhile on the basis of the Council's reasons for refusal, which solely related to Highway grounds. One of the decisions was supported by the officers but the other was a decision made by Councillors. An Informal Hearing was held and both appeals were dealt with concurrently.