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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 October, 2004, 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK
Lady Alice wins church fight
Lady Alice Douglas (picture from Richard Stanton)
Lady Alice Douglas at the former St Curig's Church (Richard Stanton)
The daughter of the Marquis of Queensbury has won her planning battle to turn a former Snowdonia church into a guest house.

Lady Alice Douglas has been detailing the ins and outs of the application in a weekly column for the Sunday Times.

She is currently renovating St. Curig's Church, in Capel Curig, Conwy. Snowdonia National Park Authority's planning committee granted permission to change four ground floor rooms into bedrooms.

Lady Alice said she was delighted at the decision.

"It is fantastic news," she said.

Lady Alice and her husband Simon Melia recently shot to prominence as part of a Channel Four documentary about men who have affairs with their au pairs.

Cars travel very fast, and there have been lots of nasty accidents on that bend
Alison Cousins, Community Council

The couple are now in the middle of divorce proceedings, details of which crept into a recent column by Lady Alice about the conversion's progress.

A spokesperson for the Snowdonia planning authority said the application had been submitted in April, and the process had involved a site visit on 10 September.

Lady Alice had described that visit in her newspaper column, saying the inspectors had "turned up en masse and hovered on my drive".

"Five of them huddled under umbrellas in a gale and, when I tried to casually wander past, it seemed my shrug and winsome smile were stonily ignored," she wrote.

Letter written

Capel Curig community council had expressed concerns about the access to the former church, because the drive is on a road with a speed limit of 60mph.

Alison Cousins, the clerk to the community council, said: "Cars travel very fast, and there have been lots of nasty accidents on that bend."

On Wednesday, Snowdonia's planning committee passed the application in principle, as long as the access is completed before the building's use is changed.

During the meeting, it was decided that the authority's chief planning officer will write to the highways department of Conwy Council about the access.

Mansion restoration work begins
15 Aug 04  |  South West Wales


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