Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 12:39 UK

Castle lodges plans put on hold

Ruthin Castle
The medieval castle is home to protected lesser horseshoe bats

A decision to erect 15 "woodland lodges" in the grounds of a medieval castle in Denbighshire has been put on hold by planners.

The owners of Ruthin castle are seeking consent for the lodges which would be leased out to tourists.

The original plans for the development were rejected by Denbighshire councillors earlier this year.

A revised application has now been deferred after a call for the assembly government to review the plans

The site is designated a Grade II historic park and garden, and is also home to the protected lesser horseshoe bat.

But the developers, Countryparks Hotels Ltd have said the project could help secure the future conservation of the castle.


However, Glynis Shaw, who is campaigning against the development has requested that the plans are called in by assembly government officials.

"It's in a conservation area, the park land has a Grade II listing and so does the castle, so it should be a very well protected heritage site," she said.

"If a development like this can be considered in such an area, then it means that these conservation measures are pointless."

She said the move to defer any decision while the matter was potentially reviewed by assembly planning officials was "brilliant news".

"Welsh heritage does not deserve to end up in a chalet park," she added.

They want to build five lodges on the southern side of the castle and 10 in an area of mature woodland to the north.

Planning officers at Denbighshire council had recommended that members approved the latest revised application, after the owners of the Ruthin Castle Hotel agreed to set up a charitable trust to ensure the conservation of the medieval castle.

However that decision will now be delayed while the assembly government considers the request to review the proposals.

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