Lawyers Join Forces With Campaigners Battling To Prevent Newry Beach Development

Waterfront Action Group Apply To Give Area Protected Status

27.08.2014

A passionate group of campaigners in Holyhead fighting against development plans they believe will destroy coastline used by the local community for more than a century have joined forces with specialist environmental lawyers to stop the proposals.

The Newry Beach Holyhead Waterfront Action Group was established to oppose landowner Conygar Stena’s planned creation of a new marina, apartments, office and leisure facilities on the town’s historic coastline at Newry Beach.

According to the group, the outline planning permission granted to Conygar Stena would destroy the area, which is viewed as a vital community asset after being used since the 19th century by local people for swimming, dog walking and a range of other activities.

Now, with the help of Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Public Law team, the group has applied to Anglesey County Council to have the area registered as a town or village green (TVG) under Section 15 of the commons Act 2006 – an important step which could protect the area from potential development.

Conygar Stena, which operates a ferry terminal close to the area, was granted ownership of Newry Beach, its promenade and other local facilities in the 1980s when the previously state-run sea link was privatised. The company has also asked Anglesey County Council to surrender its lease on the land, which runs until 2025, in order to progress its plans.

Terry Looker, Chairman, of the Newry Beach Holyhead Waterfront Action Group, said: “Newry Beach is the jewel in the crown of Holyhead and has been a place of rest, relaxation, tranquillity and recreation for the people of Holyhead and visitors for decades.

“While we are by no means against development of the area and would welcome expansion of existing facilities, we believe Conygar Stena’s plans would mean the loss of the character and attractiveness of the whole Newry Beach area.

“We hope that the council will rightfully recognise the area as the community asset that it has been for many years and protect it from plans which would only serve to rip the heart out of the town.”