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St. David’s Hotel, Harlech

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21 September 2017

Yesterday (Wednesday, September 20th), at Caernarfon Magistrates Court, the owners of the derelict St David’s Hotel Harlech were fined a maximum £1,000 for failing to comply with a Section 215 Notice to demolish the building.

In December 2015, under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, a Notice was served by the National Park Authority due to the unacceptable state of the derelict hotel and the adverse impact this was having on the area’s beauty and the residents’ amenities. It required the owners, Aitchinson Associates Limited, to demolish the hotel and clear the site completely by April 18th 2017.

As a result of Aitchinson Associates not complying with the Notice, in their absence from court, the Magistrates issued the maximum fine of £1000, a victim surcharge of £100 and costs to the Authority of £552.20

Jonathan Cawley, the Authority’s Director of Planning and Land Management said,

“This matter continues to be frustrating to both the National Park Authority and in particular to the local residents of Harlech. Due to its complicated nature, we believe that the owners were given ample time to demolish this eyesore of a building and clear the site. It is therefore very disappointing that the company ignored the Notice served on them.

We are however heartened that the court agreed to proceed with dealing with the matter in the absence of the company and that the maximum fine for failure to comply with a Section 215 Notice was given. If the owners continue to ignore the requirements of the Notice, the Authority will consider further options available, which include issuing further court proceedings which could see the company from today, fined £100 for every day that the Notice is not complied with.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The hotel is in a prominent position within Harlech, being in an elevated position and located adjacent to the A496 highway. Furthermore it is situated adjacent to the Harlech Conservation Area and in close proximity to Harlech Castle and a designated World Heritage Site.
  2. Section 215 (s215) of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 provides a Local Planning authority with the power, in certain circumstances, to take steps requiring land to be cleaned up when its condition adversely affects the amenity of the area.
  3. In 2009, the Authority granted a conditional planning permission for the demolition of the hotel and college hall of residence and for the construction of a new 130 bedroom hotel and 76 holiday apartments, together with forming a new internal road layout, landscaping and associated engineering works. Unfortunately despite this planning permission, the developer has not proceeded with the project.
  4. The Section 215 Notice does not extend to the former college hall of residence.