We are publishing a selection of comments that we have received via our web site and other sources

We've had some very interesting comments, stories, views and ideas back from our numerous supporters, and this page includes some of the opinions expressed.


Comments following the Inspector's decision to allow the development
(January 2011)
  • It is extraordinary that a building that has been found to breach planning policies in so many ways should be allowed to stay - this is a terrible indictment of our planning process.
  • We are shocked, disappointed and angry.....but sadly not surprised.  Is NO ONE going to receive any penalty at all in this case? Is NO ONE going to be held responsible? Is NO ONE going to lose their job?
  • I read the news... in total disbelief! I cannot understand how this man has got away with this building but hey this gives the green light to all and sundry to come to Newport and build what they like and where they like. This will now be brushed under the carpet, nobody will be held accountable for this mega blunder, the eyesore will remain and a fat cat will be licking his lips and laughing . The National Park members should be hanging their heads in shame their creation was meant to help preserve the beauty of the area instead of the opposite, shame they can't be disbanded and the authority given to the local council to decide on any future development. You have all tried your utmost in this matter to stand up for what is right.
  • The decision seems completely incomprehensible and outrageous. A classic case of one law for the rich etc etc, as well as utter incompetence on the part of the National Parks’ planning officers.
  • ...the Inspector seems to have bottled it – could not bring himself to cause the demolition.
  • I seems to me that the Pembrokeshire National Park Authority have failed in their duty to protect the Special qualities of the National Park in allowing the initial planning application and that in doing so, we now have little case against the developer.
  • .. the National Park Authority have badly let everyone down. Is there a possibility of taking them to Court over their failure to carry out their statutory duty? After this fruitless fight, I wonder if anyone has got any strength for that? It is an outrage that a developer or individual can build such a monstrosity in such a beautiful, hitherto unspoilt place and get away with it, apparently sanctioned by the law and by those who are supposed to be protecting us from such things.

Letter in Western Telegraph on 10th March 2010      Original here

"National Park is partly to blame for Bettws Newydd issue"

Dear Editor

The article about Bettws Newydd (February 24th) stated that although planning permission was originally granted in 2006, ‘it was subsequently found to have been built in the different place and 18 inches higher than the original plans.’ Cathy Milner, the National Park’s head of development management, says it is stuck ‘between a rock and hard place’, but this uncomfortable position is largely of the park’s own making for several reasons.

The original planning permission contravened one of the park authority’s own policies that states any new building should not be more visually intrusive than the one that it replaces.

The construction work was not adequately monitored and the house was built in the wrong place and not to the agreed dimensions.

Concerns expressed by local people during the construction went virtually unheeded. The response was, ‘It will be alright when it’s finished’ but that is not the best time to think about modifications.

As an advocate of the park, it saddens me that ‘own goals’ such as this do nothing to enhance the public’s opinion of the authority.

This affair has added much ‘grist to the mill’ of those who would like to see planning taken away from the national park and transferred to the county council.

Derek Rowland
Penmynydd Uchaf, Dinas Cross, Newport.

Comments we have received in response to the latest application (Jan 2010)

This is a small selection from the many comments we have received.

  • It is hard to see this as anything other than a huge waste of public funds. The application was refused by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority last year and the new proposal is nothing more than a re-submission of the previous application with a few landscaping changes and a monstrous amount of additional material planned to be dumped on site to create banks which won't hide the building anyway.
  • The property totally ignores the huge sensitivity of the site. With its vast expanse of shining black glass, glinting aluminium and bulky scale, Bettws Newydd will never “relate well to other dwellings in the area” and it sets a very dangerous precedent for developments on this beautiful stretch of heritage coastline
  • We fear that the Authority’s continuing appeasement in relation to this whole fiasco will only serve to lessen its authority, value and impact on the future development and preservation of the Pembrokeshire National Park.
  • If this application is allowed the planning precedent established will encourage every developer from Cardiff to Bangor to come down and turn the Parrog and surrounding area into concrete!
  • If this application is agreed it will set a dangerous precedent and send a signal to other developers. Just build whatever you like, ignore all the conditions and then keep on submitting applications until you finally win.


Letter published in the Western Telegraph. Original here.

Lack of good judgement. Tuesday 28th April 2009

Dear Editor
With reference to Bettws Newydd (Western Telegraph, April 8th and 15th), I have always associated national park planners with finicky concern over details in hidden corners, which send home-improvers frantic. However, this extraordinary vulgar pile will be a glazing monument to the planners’ crassness — if nothing more — for a depressingly long time. What a crying shame we haven't people with taste and judgement (and humility) in these positions of power.

Chris Reynolds Cerig Gwyn, Llangolman.


Selection of responses (published 28th February 2009).

Click here to see the original set of responses.

  • Once again an "incomer" with plenty of money seems to be running rings around the National Park planners. I'm sure that it's not the case but by failing to explain their decision in allowing this development, the Park are laying themselves open to accusations of "back-handers." 
  • When this site was for sale by auction I made enquiries through the Pembrokeshire National Park Planning Department (Vicki Hirst) and was deterred from bidding because of the severe restrictions and limitations curtailing any new build on the site. I have therefore been quite amazed to see the size of dwelling allowed as it far exceeds the guidelines and parameters I was given to believe would need to be observed with this sensitive site. In my opinion the present new build is far too large for the area and a highly visible blot on the landscape when viewed from the golf course side of the estuary. As far as I am aware the development has strayed from the approved plans and breached several of the planning conditions attached to the permission, particularly in relation to the height of the building. As this is a highly sensitive site within the Pembrokeshire National Park such BLATANT breaches MUST NOT BE PERMITTED and appropriate steps such as an enforcement notice must be taken to rectify the situation to ensure this is not a precedent to other rogue developers. Please do not be complacent and take appropriate steps immediately.

  • I have to ask how was it allowed to get so near completion before it was questioned. Do the authorities not do regular checks throughout the construction of a dwelling? This is awful and so totally out of place and far removed from Jimmy's single story house, which looked as though it belonged in its surroundings.
  • This is a major planning screw up. I can understand that the planning committee were duped by the misrepresentation of the correct ground level. But relative to where Jimmy's bungalow was situated this building is now completely inappropriate for the location. From having seen the foundations raised to a level above the top of the bungalow it was clear that there was a problem that the planning committee should have had to sort out earlier. As there is no way landscaping can mask it, the building must be corrected in its height and appearance.  This building had broken all the planning laws re size of building, set out by national park planning. Architecturally out of place and intrusive.
  • The house itself is an eyesore and an insult to the people of Newport who they themselves would never be allowed to get away with such a flagrant breach of planning rights. If this dwelling is allowed to stand, that precedent has been set, and the national parks will have to start passing peoples plans as this is a benchmark for future planning issues.
  • This is what the Park was designed to prevent. A perfect example of what happens without regulation, or with opaque drawings.

  • It would be very strange if this building is allowed to stand in its present form as it has ignored the planning permission granted it.  If it is given retrospective permission the National Park will have given permission to a grotesquely out of place building which blocks views, is an eyesore from miles away as well as close to and whose owners are a law unto themselves in a completely unsympathetic way.
  • This building makes a mockery of all the local planning rules and regulations. How can they be allowed to get away with this?
  • How on earth anybody could say this is a nice looking building to replace the old one that was there. I do not understand how or why the planning was allowed to go ahead. Surely the building regulation officer could see it was not in accordance to the original plans. It is a total flouting of the plans submitted. When you think that you need planning to put up a shed or greenhouse or to even lay a patio these day's it makes you wonder what is the purpose of planning committees or any law abiding body at all
  • There is something very strange when a building as obtrusive as this has been allowed to be constructed when normally National Parks Authority are so strict about what they allow and there is no leniency.  This is not fair to all the other people who have applied for far smaller schemes eg extensions and have been refused. It's disgusting!!  That building doesn't even fit in with anything in the area.

  • Considering all the fuss that is made about the tiniest little detail on plans for improving and extending houses in town, Bettws Newydd is unbelievable - how on earth did they get away with it!

  • This building is a complete blot on a very beautiful landscape. It totally dominates the skyline from the beach and goes against all of my beliefs of the point of a National Park. Whatever happened to building within the context of the area???? A disgrace!!!!

  • It beggars belief that the same planners who heartlessly persecuted Tony Wrench for his low impact almost compostable home could go on to approve this eyesore. 

  • I was unaware of the original application, and feel that even the permission which was granted should not have been.  However, it would be a tragedy if the structure which has been erected is allowed to stand for reasons well laid out on the web site.  At the very least, the owner must be required to conform to the approved plans.

  • The building makes a considerable adverse visual impact. It completely dominates the view of the Parrog from the other side of the Nevern. Surely if it was not built in line with the original planning application, it should be altered to do so. If this is not done, I believe it casts serious doubts on the integrity of the planning process.

  • Considering the difficulty people have in getting planning permission from the National Park for even minor alterations it defies belief that this was allowed. It does not blend in with its surroundings and is an eyesore, will it set a precedent?

  • This building is completely out of character for the area in which it has been built.  It is a blot on the landscape and does no credit to the normally well respected aims and ideals of the National Park Authority.

  • This is an unbelievable, incongruous over-sized development that differs from the planning application that was submitted. It looks totally out of place and distracts from the natural beauty of Newport Parrog.

  • I feel Bettws Newydd is a terrible eyesore on the beautiful Pembrokeshire coastline, which, up till now, the Pembrokeshire National Park has protected so well. Many people are drawn to this area of outstanding beauty and it is our responsibility to preserve this for future generations.  This house is a monstrosity and must be changed if we are to preserve the beauty and integrity of Newport.
  • THIS HOUSE SHOULD BE DEMOLISHED AND REBUILT IN LINE WITH THE ORIGINALLY APPROVED PLANS. It is about time that the National Park took a more conservative approach to developments visible from the coast path.

  • Well, this just shows what you can get away with if you have money. This makes me feels sick. I spent most of my childhood summers growing up across the road from this new building. Outraged.

Original selection published on 6th February.

  • I have known the houses around Bettws and Bettws Newydd for 50 years. Indeed as a small boy, I helped Jimmy Williams put up the wooden frame on which he then built the original Bettws Newydd. The cottage was low-lying, unobtrusive, little more than a shack in the top corner of the field. From the windows of Bettws Bach we hardly noticed Jimmy's place, but rather looked at Carn Ffoi towering above it and the surrounding hedges. Now all that view is blotted out, and all we can see is the apex of the roof of the monstrous new building. Given the difficulty we ourselves had over the years getting permission for the very modest changes made to Bettws Bach, we had full confidence in the authorities that they would be equally strict with this project, and I am therefore staggered to see what has been built - though not properly allowed. Something should be done!
  • We find this structure a disgrace. It does not comply with the strict requirements of the National Parks that new or refurbished buildings should be in keeping with the local architecture. It does not comply with the local building regulations in that plastic windows are used. It is an eyesore, even from the beach and can be clearly seen from the Golf Club. It has caused the destruction of a lovely wooded area.How has the owner managed to circumvent the planning agreement to such a degree? Anyone applying for a 'new build' or alteration to existing property in Newport is subject to rigorous scrutiny by the National Parks authority and local planning authorities, which certainly does not seem to be the case with this 'structure'. It should be considered that the structure be demolished as it contravenes the Development Plan Policies, building regulations,and the original planning consent.
  • In addition to the totally inappropriate size of the 'replacement' house at Bettws Newydd it has, in the words of a local architect, "probably the biggest environmental footprint of any building in the country" - 65 lorry loads of cement were used in the foundations and the entire north facing facade is glazed which is environmentally appalling and irresponsible.
  • This was definitely not the building that was shown in the original drawings. we are for interesting contemporary design but this is an ugly, ill planned house which shows no regard for the surrounding landscape.it should not be there, that is all there is to say, it is an outrage.
  • Had this been an eco design in harmony with its landscape I do not think anyone would have objected. There are questions which need answering: Who read the plans and missed the obvious? This building was never going to marry with the surrounding landscape or vernacular architecture. Who did not supervise what can only be described as an apparition? Who did not take steps to stop the building once mistakes were noted? Why was there little response to the objections voiced by locals? They know and respect the laws. They should be listened to. Why are the National Park Authorities being so passive?   By allowing this house to go ahead there appears to be one law for the few and another law for the rest of Newport. What has been learnt from all this mess?  This building is in danger of setting a precedent which could destroy the integrity of the National Parks and all they stand for. It will obvious be painful all round but this building should either be removed or reduced in size and vulgarity. The cost? Maybe the answer is to split it between National Parks and the aspiring builders. That way perhaps both parties might learn.
  • The original building was around 900-1000 sq ft.  What has been constructed is in excess of 4000 sq ft.  No effort whatsoever has been made to blend this building into the landscape.this must now be Newport's largest house.
  • We are appalled at the intrusiveness of the new development. When the original building was put up for sale, there was a notice attached to the building implying (at least, if not explicitly) that any redevelopment would have to be within the footprint and height of the existing building. When development started it looked as though the building would be developed by digging down into the hill side. However, as well as digging down the building has also been built higher to create the eye sore it is today.
  • I have had to comply with all the requirements of the N.P.Planners in my developments over the past 30 years of living in the National Park. Whilst these have frequently been irksome and annoying, I have accepted the principle that Developments in the National Park need to be controlled for the benefit of all. I also believed that the same rules were applied to everybody. This is clearly no longer the case. This development contravenes what most people who live and work here consider to be appropriate. If this application is passed the Planning Authority will lose the respect of the public.
  • Considering the hoops that local people have to jump through to make even minor modifications ( eg use different roof tiles because originals are not available) it is unbelievable that planning permission was granted for the original submitted plans, let alone the house that has actually been built.
  • Very sad to see such a large intrusive building here - so close to the coastal path.
  • Can't believe they got away with it - please no more hideous developments on or near the parrog or anywhere in the national park!
  • I have watched with growing horror the construction of the monster that replaces Jimmy's house. I feel it has been built with no sensitivity either to the environment it sits in or to others. How was this ever allowed to get this far?
  • It is incredible that this building was allowed to be built. It is completely out of keeping with the other parrog houses and spoils the unique beauty of that section of the Parrog.
  • This development is another in a long line of poor design and greed for unnecessary large residential dwellings. The National Parks are clearly being poorly advised and the planners must be made to answer .
  • The design and size of the building are not in keeping with the design and size of the buildings around it. I have friends in Newport who have been born and bred there and who are not allowed to build modest size houses which would be in keeping with the landscape. No-one understands why this big ugly building has been allowed.
  • This dwelling should never have been allowed to be built, it towers over the area. It has already destroyed the habitat of animals and birds by cutting down trees, bushes and shrubs.
  • A monstrosity that dictates the landscape, it spoils the landscape, you can even see the building from the beach. For a property for residential purposes only, it seems ridiculous for the need for such a large structure. Besides the size, it seems there has been no consideration for the environment in respect of drawing on eco/sustainable building techniques. It is simply a nasty concrete building which looks more like an inner city office than a character dwelling in the heart of the National Parks.
  • While it is a waste to take down a building, it is better to acknowledge this should not have been built and enforce correct rules so that there can be no impression that the wealthy and powerful can get away with monstrous violations of policy. The embodied carbon footprint of the structure and wasted energy in future, especially through the huge area of north facing glass.
  • The building is monstrous compared with the the previous dwelling - I cannot see how it could have been permitted under the rules the National Park is supposed to follow.
  • I feel Bettws Newydd is a blot on the landscape, I have no objection to modern architecture but this property is far too big for the site and does not blend into the landscape in any way. A single storey building would have been much more in keeping and the views would have been protected.
  • Where is the planning office?  One rule for some, another rule for others. Its disgusting.
  • Thank goodness it may still be possible to do something about this monstrous blot on the landscape.


The comments on this page are from notes to us, from the press and from the petition responses. They do not necessarily represent the views of all supporters of the Bettws Newydd Campaign, nor have we been able to validate all of them for accuracycy.

About Us | Contact Us | ©2011