In the November newsletter we voiced concern on the planning issues relating to the erection of phone masts in our area. There is also local opposition based on visual impact and supposed health effects. At present six sites between Rhos on Sea and Penmaen Rhos are awaiting planning consideration a process that seems to give minimal regard to the opinions of those affected. It is heartening to note the recent rejection by Conwy Council of several planning applications perhaps indicating a measure of council support for our views. We remain sceptical of Government and Telephone company claims of minimal health risk from electromagnetic radiation fields and note contrary scientific opinion. For example, it is cited that the multiplier effect from adjacent masts could in some circumstances give rise to enhanced levels of radiation. The Society’s Chairman and Secretary recently attended a meeting held with the Rhos on Sea Mast Protest Action Group also attended by Darren Millar, National Assembly of Wales Member, Clwyd South West. Mr Millar was very supportive and shares our collective concerns and views. We are gratified that Mr Millar is to seek a meeting between Vodaphone and interested parties to ascertain their exact intentions and discuss the issues of concern. In conclusion, the meeting also resolved to petition the National Assembly calling for tighter controls.
Pwllychrochan Conservation Area
The November newsletter noted delays to the demolition of 15 Merton Place and redevelopment with a block of 19 apartments. This plan has now been scaled down to 6 flats and although we opposed the original development it is now more acceptable.
A similar development scheduled for 35 Pwllychrochan Avenue has also been scaled down. The original plan involved demolition of a substantial property with redevelopment to provide a large complex of luxury apartments. The scaled down plan provides for the erection of 4 town houses, a proposal that has met with objection from the Conservation Advisory Panel. They consider insufficient detail has been given in relation to positioning of the new houses.
99 Tan y Bryn Road
We have objected to residential development of the site to the rear of this property on the grounds that it involves demolition of 5 Princess Drive to provide vehicular access. It is felt that this back garden development creates density problems.
Proposed Hotel For Colwyn Bay
There is a proposal to demolish three railway cottages on the eastern side of the Colwyn Bay Shopping Centre car park and construct a 53 room hotel. It is felt there is not a strong case to preserve the railway cottages but the design of the proposed hotel deserves something of greater architectural merit and more sympathetic to its location than the present plans indicate. Ideally the derelict Market site would be a good alternative site for a hotel.
Regeneration Sea Front
It has been announced that £25 million is to be spent on regenerating the Colwyn Bay Promenade with an indication from the National Assembly that this could include the pier. In our November newsletter we expressed our disquiet about the state and future of the pier therefore this is very welcome news.
As part of regeneration a local councillor has sought our support for a tramway between Old Colwyn and Llandudno’s West Shore. The idea is that it would follow the promenade where possible and would enhance the existing public transport facilities as well being a tourist attraction. It is a proposal to which we give qualified support but to be viable there are many issues to be addressed not the least of which is the considerable capitol cost that needs to be set against the revenue generated.
St Pauls Church Clock Bell, Colwyn Bay
We are surprised to learn of a complaint against the ringing of the church clock bell and have written to the Rev Nigel Williams to express our support since we think it is unwarranted and against a well regarded and long existing feature of central Colwyn Bay. Only one complaint has been made and since the bell only rings the hours between 8am and midnight we support the church authorities in their efforts to resist any moves to silence the bell. Threats have been made to involve the council by formal complaint, presumably of a statutory nuisance but it is hard to see how this could be established.
Annual General Meeting 2009
This years AGM was held on the 25th February 2009 and the first matter to record is that all serving officers and committee members were returned to serve another year.
The meeting also considered annual membership fees and voted these be increased to £10 per annum for a single member and £20 joint from next year. It was with great reluctance the Executive Committee proposed this increase but membership fees have remained at £6 since 2000 and inflation has progressively reduced the real value of our revenue. For example annual postage costs alone for each member are now £3.78 not including the cost of photocopying. As the Chairman’s annual report indicates (reproduced below) this society functions though the unstinting efforts and good will of a small group of people including the Chairman himself. In this regard it should be mentioned that printing and distribution costs of our Journal are heavily subsidised by our President, Graham Roberts and we can not continue to presume on him. If we are to function as a society and meet our purpose in the community we need to increase our income. Other forms of revenue raising were considered and it was decided to run a “49 Club” details of which have been circulated to members. If this scheme is a success it will be of considerable financial help to the society.
Awards Scheme 2008/9
The winners of our awards scheme have now been announced and are:
Wynn Gardens, Old Colwyn
Queens Gardens, Conwy Road
Penrhos Gardens, Off Llannerch Road
Presentations will be made to a member of the Conwy Council Cabinet and an officer from the Parks Department at the April members meeting.
Chairmans Annual Report 2008/9
The past year has been one of much activity in the Society – particularly by members of our Executive. I am pleased to express my appreciation for their work and support during the year. All committee members have been active, in one way or another, in the Society’s interest.
On my appointment as Chairman I highlighted the CBCS Website as something I wished to see developed. Our member Dave Smith has, with help from our secretary Jim, managed to produce a really excellent website. As a result we have had very many emails expressing interest or requesting help from the Society, all answered, hopefully to their satisfaction. All those with computers should register their email addresses on the site for more efficient communication.
The Executive have examined, and responded to, a multitude of different concerns and events. Disabled parking, Princes Drive parking problems, mobile phone masts, Post office closures, Rhos sailing club and Rhos golf club planning problems, Victoria pier, and town regeneration have been a few of the items we have acted upon, some successfully – and our voice is being heard.
We have examined many planning proposals with the professional assistance of John Howard – objecting to some. Our Treasurer David has continued his good work planning to improve the financial viability of the Society, Gordon has supervised the production of our Heritage Trail document , due out very shortly, in addition to organising the Awards scheme. Bob Owen, responsible for our regeneration interests, has followed progress avidly. We have been pleased to have the assistance of Ken Clarke on the committee. I must not forget to thank the ladies working hard behind the scenes with the necessary secretarial work in a most efficient way.
Despite his problems our President, Graham has continued to be one of the pillars of the Society , continuing to educate and entertain us with the excellent Society magazine he edits. I wish to thank him personally for all the assistance he gives us.
We have all experienced a high standard of speakers during the year, due to the skills of, and thanks to, our programme secretary, Tom.
One person the Society could not manage without is our Secretary, Jim – he keeps me on my toes, produces his excellent Jimmy’s Jottings and is always at the front of any activity the Society is pursuing – thanks Jim.
Finally, thanks for members attending meetings regularly , maintaining interest in the Society’s activities. I think the venue has been good, providing us with very acceptable sustenance and we look forward to another year of possibly increased activity.
The Colwyn Bay Civic Society works for the benefit of the whole of society.