SNOWDONIA NATIONAL PARK AUTHORITY

PRESS RELEASE

Work to demolish the St David’s Hotel, Harlech about to commence

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5 September 2019

The St David’s Hotel building in Harlech has stood derelict for many years now. Next week, the Snowdonia National Park Authority will commence with the demolition of the building. This follows a lengthy Planning Enforcement case which has culminated in the National Park Authority initiating direct action. The National Park Authority has received significant support from both the Welsh Government and Gwynedd Council in progressing to this point.

For many years Planning Officers at the Snowdonia National Park Authority have been working to resolve the situation with the former hotel which has been steadily deteriorating. The declining state of the building, which is not far from Harlech Castle World Heritage Site, is having a significant negative impact on the surrounding area. As the owners failed to comply with a Section 215 Notice for its demolition, the Park Authority was left with no option other than to facilitate the demolition work itself.

Before the building could be demolished the Authority had to overcome many obstacles; these included the relocation of a colony of bats that roosted in the building, as well as treating the Japanese Knotweed, an invasive plant species that had established itself at the site. However, the main obstacle was the cost of the demolition work itself. With support from both the Welsh Government and Gwynedd Council, the Authority has now appointed a contractor who will shortly begin the demolition work.

Jonathan Cawley, Director of Planning and Land Management stated:

“Reaching this stage has been quite a process, and I would like to thank the local community for their continued support and patience over the years. Thank you also to the Welsh Government and Gwynedd Council who have been key partners in helping us achieve the overall aim of demolishing the hotel that has been the cause of so much local frustration.”

Local Councillor, Freya Bentham is pleased to see the conclusion of this episode in Harlech’s history:

“I am overjoyed that this blight on Harlech’s landscape is finally being demolished. I believe it will have a huge positive impact on Harlech’s economy, and I hope it will encourage investment and redevelopment of other nearby sites.

On behalf of the community, I would like to give a huge thank you to the Planning Service at the Snowdonia National Park Authority for working so hard for several years. Also to the Welsh Government and Gwynedd Council for supporting the National Park.”

Notes to Editors

  1. In December 2015 the owner of the building was served with an Order under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 by the National Park Authority to demolish the building. As the owners failed to comply with the order they were prosecuted at the Caernarfon Magistrates Court in September 2017, and were subsequently given the maximum fine for non-compliance.
  2. The owners of the St David’s Hotel have paid out £21,900 in fines for failing to comply with the enforcement notice.
  3. Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 empowers a Planning Authority, in some cases, to take steps to ensure that land that has a detrimental effect on the area’s amenity is cleaned up.
  4. For more information contact Gwen Aeron Edwards, Communication Officer – Planning and Land Management for the National Park Authority on 01766 770 274 or 07887452467, or email gwen.aeron@eryri.llyw.cymru