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Advice ignored over care home.

AUDITORS have rebuked councillors for repeatedly ignoring professional advice over a planning application for a former nursing home near Porthmadog.

In a letter to Gwynedd Council, Wales auditor Anthony Barrett said members had "repeatedly ignored the professional advice of officers with regards to the proposed development at Wern Manor Porthmadog".

Councillors turned down a planning application to convert the historic house, stables and outbuildings into upmarket holiday flats.

But the plans were approved by a Wales Assembly planning inspector on appeal.

Responding to a complaint the Wales Audit Office found councillors had not listened to advice from planning officers.

He said: "Whilst (council) members are not bound to accept the recommendations of (planning) officers, the opposition of members to the development on planning grounds was not well evidenced prior to the decision in June 2006.

"Subsequent reports from consultants were commissioned to defend the decision made rather than support the decision making process."

Wern Manor owner Peter Rickard is now looking to sell the property to a developer.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 22, 2010
Words:168
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