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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

We're taking a short break

llanblogger is taking a short break and will be back in about a week's time ...

Residents turn up in force over Vicarage Road homes plan

Concerned residents turned up in force to see Llangollen town councillors take their first official look at a plan to build 99 houses on land next to Vicarage Road in the town.

Almost 50 people came along to a special meeting of the planning committee arranged, according to chair Cllr Sheena Burrell, because this is the largest single application the council has ever had to deal with.

So many people came along that the meeting had to be switched at the last minute from the limited space of the council chamber to the main town hall upstairs.

Although it’s not up to the town council to decide the application, the planning committee met to discover what questions about the development its members would like answered before their full council passes its opinion on the application in May.

Their observations will be taken into consideration when the application is eventually considered by the county council.      

Castlemead Homes recently submitted an application to the county for the development, which includes a mixture of two, three and four bedroom detached and semi-detached properties.

But the scheme has sparked fears amongst people in the area that local roads will not be able to cope with the extra traffic it will generate both during construction and when the new homes are occupied.

Planning permission to build over 50 houses on land adjacent to Vicarage Road was granted on appeal by Denbighshire back in 2001 but did not go ahead.

Attached to the original application was a Section 106 agreement under which the developer was legally bound to build a new access road to the site before the scheme was started.

The field above the main site has since been included in the Local Development Plan at the request of the Planning Inspectorate to encourage the building of more houses to meet local demand.

And Castlemead  recently submitted a new application to build a further 45 homes, making a total of 99 houses on four parcels of land.

A statement issued on behalf of the company by planning consultants in support of the application says it would not be economic to build the access road before construction work starts on the houses and suggests it should instead be built by the time the 31st dwelling has been occupied.

Transport consultants acting on behalf of the company say in their submission to the county council: “It has been demonstrated that the development traffic can comfortably be accommodated within the highways assessed indicating that the development will not materially impact upon the operation of the local highway network.” 
On a Facebook group started as a result of the application, which now has over 200 members, a number of people have expressed concerns about the impact of the development. 

One contributor to the page says: “The development will happen in some capacity in the near future and that cannot be stopped.

“However, for everyone concerned and I guess that includes everyone who uses Hill Street on a daily basis, either on foot or by car or cycle, there will be huge issues, delays, dangers, damages, frustrations, confrontations, noise pollution to name but a few things which should be of grave concern to all.”

Another member of the Facebook group, Mike Edwards, has written to all the candidates contesting Clwyd South in next month’s Welsh Assembly elections, seeking their support in ensuring residents’ views are taken into consideration by county planners when it comes to considering the application.
At the Town Council meeting last night, planning committee chair, Cllr Sheena Burrell, explained that the special meeting had been called as this was the largest single planning application the town council had ever had to deal with.

And she encouraged anyone with views on it to send in their comments to the county council.  

Some of the issues which would have to be considered, she said, included traffic impact, road safety and whether local schools could cope with extra children moving into the area.

The Mayor, Cllr Mike Adams, also suggested green space and surface drainage should be looked at along with any implications for the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  

He also stressed that anyone with evidence of any road accidents or near-misses in the area associated with the application should send details to the county council.

Cllr Bob Lube said the town’s health centre should also be asked whether it could cope with the extra patients generated by the proposed development.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Llan represented in contest for young cooks

Nine top cooks from primary school across the county, including Ysgol Y Gwernant in Llangollen,  will gather at Denbigh High School for the grand final of this year’s Great Denbighshire Menu competition in May 2016. 

As one of Denbighshire Education and Children’s Services’ centrepieces to mark 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl, this year’s Great Denbighshire Menu Primary School Competition takes as its theme “Dahlicious” and asks children to choose their favourite Roald Dahl book to create a healthy (fictional) breakfast that could be served at school. 

Now in its second year, the Great Denbighshire Menu competition is a successful collaboration between Denbighshire Healthy Schools and Curriculum Enrichment initiatives. 

The competition encourages children to learn how to cook by using local ingredients to prepare healthy meals, while, at the same time, teaches them about the importance of food preparation. 

Healthy Schools Co-ordinator Paula Roberts said: “The copmpetition raises awareness about healthy eating and why it is important.  Your food choices each day affect your health — how you feel today, tomorrow, and in the future."

Curriculum Enrichment Co-ordinator, Sarah Dixon, said: “In the build up to the launch of the competition in February, students had been busily learning new skills in the kitchen and mastering their techniques.  We’re very proud of all these students for what they have achieved."

The young cooks endured rigorous school-based and regional heats to reach the Grand Final. 

The nine finalists from Ysgol Cefn Meiriadog, Ysgol Pendref, Ysgol y Llys, Ysgol Carreg Emlyn, Ysgol Bro Famau and Ysgol y Gwernant will now go head to head in the final.

* You can follow the competition on Twitter @cyfoeth_enrich and keep up to date with any news on

MP battles 80mph speed limit plan

Susan Elan Jones MP is calling on all Conservative candidates in North Wales to disown an election pledge in their party's  Assembly election manifesto to consult on increasing speed limits to 80 mph on the M4 and A55.

The Clwyd South Labour MP won cross-party support to introduce a bill to Parliament that sought to review sentencing for unlicensed or uninsured drivers who kill or seriously injure people.

In 2015, she was awarded 2015 Parliamentarian of the Year by national road safety charity Brake.

Susan Elan Jones MP said: "Far too many people have been injured and killed on our roads for us to give up the fight for road safety. From the community in Overton who campaigned for and got a 40 mph buffer zone to communities both sides of the border who are campaigning for a dual carriage on the A483/A5, road safety is a big issue in our area.

"We must continue with our campaigning and we must all work together cross-party. However we really can't do this when speeding is trivialised. I really hope that Conservative candidates in this election will make it quite clear that they do not support a 80 mph speed limit on any road. It is a very bad idea."

Brake spokesman Jack Kushner said: "We urge the government to reject needless proposals to increase speed limits to 80mph.

"We're disappointed it is being considered. Evidence from previous consultations made it clear that an increase would not only be dangerous - potentially 25 more deaths and 100 more serious injuries each year - but also highly damaging to the environment and economy."

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Silver band teams with schoolchildren for enjoyable concert

* Llangollen Silver band play at the Methodist Church last night. 

LLANGOLLEN Silver band joined forces with the children of Ysgol Bryn Collen to present a Spring Concert at the town’s Methodist Church yesterday (Saturday) evening.
The band played more than a dozen numbers in three sets, ranging from stirring marches such as the Welsh-themed Arms Park to themes from films like The Mission and Singing in the Rain.

The children presented two sets of songs which included selections from their forthcoming production of the musical Cinderella Rockerfeller and numbers from the musicals Annie and Sound of Music.
Loud applause from a packed and appreciative audience persuaded the band to play two encore numbers to round off a very enjoyable evening’s entertainment.  

Legendary racer to star at Llan Bike Fest

Living legend Giacomo Agostini, widely acknowledged as the greatest motorcycle racer in history, will be guest of honour at the Llangollen International Motorcycle Festival - LlanBikeFest 2016 - on Saturday July 23 and Sunday July 24.

* Giacomo Agostini will star at Llan Bike Fest 2016.

With an unbeaten record of 122 Grand Prix wins and 15 World Championships titles, Ago is flying in especially from his Italian home to spend the weekend at the Festival meeting fans, judging competitions and providing opportunities for autographs and photos.

Agostini’s appearance at LlanBikeFest follows news that top British racers Ian Hutchinson and John McGuinness are unable make it to the event because of changes in their commitments.

LlanBikeFest co-organiser John Hutchinson said: “We are sorry that McGuinness and Hutchinson have had to bow out – but that can happen during a busy racing season. We trust that the opportunity to meet Ago will more than make up for any disappointment.”

Ago commented: “I am looking forward to being at LlanBikeFest in July – a real festival of motorcycling for everyone who loves bikes, in a beautiful part of the world.”

LlanBikeFest 2016 will build on the successful Festival last year, which starred Carl Fogarty and Mick Grant, and attracted more than 6,000 visitors.
It is being held again at the town’s Pavilion set amid some of Britain’s best biking roads - at the foot of the Horseshoe Pass and its famously bike-friendly Ponderosa CafĂ©, and on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park.

On-site attractions will include hundreds of bikes, displays, stunts, demonstrations, trade and club stands, plus beer, bands and evening entertainment in Llangollen Town. There will also be a charity raffle in aid of Wales Air Ambulance.
Follow the event on Twitter at @llanbikefest and Facebook at Llangollen International Motorcycle Festival.

Day tickets are £10 on the gate or online at with concessions, or contact the Festival office at 07960 693398, Club stands and exhibitor bookings are free.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Railway steams back to Victorian times

Llangollen Railway will be stepping back in time to the Victorian era over the weekend of May 14 and 15 with a steam-filled historical experience for all the family.

At Llangollen station, look out for the visiting steam traction engine, Punch & Judy shows, live music and a railwayana exhibition, before embarking on a steam-hauled trip down memory lane.

Berwyn, the station in the gorge, has been transformed back to its original Victorian appearance, complete with period posters and traditional coal fires.

Celebration is in the air with the bunting flying and the band playing on the platform in case of a surprise royal visit. At Glyndyfrdwy, you can visit the vintage Victorian fairground, or marvel at the sights of a traditional sheepdog trials taking place next to the station. There will be a dedicated Victorian railway exhibition at Llangollen over the weekend, featuring many historic drawings, documents and railwayana relating to the former Ruabon to Barmouth line dating back to the 1850s. Many of these have never been publically displayed before and offer an insight into the early days of the line from over 150 years ago.

For full details, download the commemorative programme (designed in the style of the traditional 1860s railway timetables of the Great Western Railway) for free from our website: 

Whilst it is not essential, the Llangollen Railway invites our visitors to consider entering into the spirit of the occasion by wearing a suitable Victorian attire.

Visitors can take advantage of discounted fares by booking in advance for this event.