Plans to demolish a former Llangollen hotel in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to make way for a 16-home development have been rejected by county councillors.

Full planning permission had been sought for the redevelopment of Tyn y Wern Hotel off the A5, and land adjacent to it.

The former hotel had lain dormant for a number of years and previous development had been sought on the area.

The hotel building is classed as a brownfield site and lies within the development boundary but only four of the homes planned lay within its curtilage.

The other 12 properties would have been within the Dee Valley and Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and officers recommended refusal of the scheme.

Llangollen county councillor Melvyn Mile, who earlier claimed a personal but non prejudicial interest in the matter, argued there was no interest in reviving the hotel and it was a chance to develop a brownfield site for much needed local housing.

He said: “My worry is if we do nothing with Tyn y Wern it’s going to go exactly the same way (as other brownfield sites in the town). It’ll become another blot on the landscape in Llangollen.

“I know we’re meant to be the jewel in the crown of Denbighshire, I know the scenery around the town and in some parts of the town is great.”

He said the decision on Tyn y Wern was being “whittled down” to whether the applicants or Denbighshire’s planning department were correct in interpreting housing need for the county.

The agent for the applicants Richard Corbett had argued the development was required to meet housing targets.

Housing officers disagreed, saying the old five-year plan for housing need targets had been “dis-applied” by Welsh Government and the council was on course to deliver quotas for new houses based on its corporate plan.

Cllr Mile added: “I’m happy to propose we grant planning permission in this instance but I appreciate the committee need to have a conversation about it.”

Planning officer Paul Griffin said: “Planning policy Wales does support the notion of prioritising brownfield over greenfield (developments).

“However that doesn’t override the need to make your decision in accordance with the local development plan.

“Yes it’s brownfield but there are plenty of brownfield sites outside the local development boundary.

“The focus is still to keep development within development boundaries unless there’s an overriding need to do otherwise.”

Officers had also said they had no objection to the four houses being proposed on the brownfield site, within the local development boundary.

Also they could only accept schemes outside the development boundary according to strict criteria, including they would all be for affordable housing.

The current proposal allowed for 10% affordable housing across the site as a whole.

Cllr Brian Jones said a big group or consortium could come in and inject money into the hotel site to develop it for hospitality, as more people were projected to stay in the UK rather than go abroad in the future.

He added: “There are funding pots coming up for redevelopment so I think we should consider that before making a decision.”

The planning committee voted by 15-2, with one abstention, to refuse the application in line with planning officer recommendations.