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Park Authority

Filming at Hafod Eryri


Company fined over £2,000 for using plastic windows.


24 April 2018

Magistrates awarded a fine and costs of £2,171.60 against Bluestar Estates (Birmingham) Ltd at a court case in Caernarfon last week. The company had failed to comply with an enforcement notice relating to a planning consent condition on Tabernacle Chapel, High Street, Harlech.

For architectural reasons and due to its historic importance, Harlech is one of 14 Conservation Areas within Snowdonia National Park and. Tabernacle, a former Baptist chapel, was built in 1897 and the building is on the Authority's list of traditional buildings which contribute to the local architectural character and traditions of the area.

Since the 1980's, the chapel was used as a garage but for many years it has laid empty. In July 2014, planning permission was granted to convert the building into two commercial units plus five flats, with a condition that any window frames had to be of traditional timber. The aim of this condition was to ensure that the character of the area was not damaged, destroyed or undermined by changes that were inappropriate for the area.

Following the verdict, Aled Lloyd, the Authority’s Head of Development Control and Compliance said,

“Underpinning any planning permission in a Conservation Area is the necessity to determine whether the alteration of a building protects and enhances the character of that building and its surrounding area. I’m glad that the court agreed with our opinion in this case. As Tabernacl is situated in such a prominent building in the centre of Harlech, the use of plastic windows is completely inappropriate. The owner has had over three years to comply with the conditions of the planning consent, namely "... that all external windows and doors of this building shall be of traditional pattern and shape, be of timber construction and have a white painted finish." But the owner decided to ignore this. If he does not comply this time, we will have no choice but return to court again. Harlech is a special town and protecting the spirit and the character of the town's architecture is very important."

Notes to Editors

  1. The planning act in this case is the Town and Country Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act, 1990.
  2. The enclosed images are images taken before work started, after unauthorised works had taken place and the building within its geographical context on the High Street.