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Last Updated: Monday, 26 February 2007, 13:10 GMT
Size concern over dockside revamp
Victoria Dock development
The buildings are along the side of the old Victoria Dock
Concerns have been expressed about a 27m shopping and housing development at an old dockside in Gwynedd.

Objectors claim they have been shocked at the size of the Victoria Dock development in Caernarfon, now that the skeleton of the buildings is up.

They claim it will take people away from the town centre and detract from older buildings, including the medieval castle, built by Edward I.

Supporters say it will bring a much needed economic boost to the town.

"My worry is that people will just visit the new development," said Miriam Jones from the town's business chamber.

'Floor space'

"I think the size of the place has been a shock as people did not realise it would be so huge.

"When you consider that its floor space is equal to all the shops in Pool Street, the busiest street in the town, it is quite horrendous," Mrs Jones added.

Others are more philosophical about the situation.

Tecwyn Thomas, who was leader of the Labour group on the council when the development was given planning permission, said: "Now that the metal structure is up we can't unfortunately do anything about it.

"We'll just have to wait and see if it has an effect on the people who visit the town."

Victoria Dock development
The buildings' size has been a shock, say some residents

Local AM Alun Ffred Jones, the former county council leader, said: "It does look bigger than I had imagined.

"But the building is not much taller than the Galeri building next door and similar to the old warehouse which is now the county archive, so it is not out of character."

The brief at the time when permission was given was to make use of the site to provide an economic boost to the town, whilst clearing an area which was clearly an eyesore, he added.

Original plans for the Victoria dock area were called in by the assembly government after Cadw, which looks after historical monuments in Wales, voiced concerns.

But when new plans for shops and flats were submitted it was decided it was a local mater which should be sorted out by the local authority, Gwynedd County Council.

"It is a matter for Gwynedd County Council whether they gave planning consent or not, and it is inappropriate for us to comment on the reasons behind that decision," said an assembly government spokesman.

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