Welcome to 'Llysiago'

- our plot of land on the coast of North Wales.

Introduction.

 

This is the story of a building plot on the North Wales coast purchased with the intention of creating a home for our retirement (rather than a retirement home). We purchased the site late in 2014 and whilst our intention is not to build a house for another 3, or possibly 4, years we have a great deal of work to do in clearing the site, developing our plans, obtaining the relevant permissions and, of course, releasing the capital, which is tied up in our existing home, for the build. It's going to be a long and exciting journey. The intention is to try and record the story of that journey through this website.


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The name of the plot.


The plot was purchased as Caerwylan - which might be translated from the Welsh as 'field of the sea-gulls' (cae - field and gwylan - sea-gulls) but will be renamed at some point in the future as Llysiago. We have had two houses in the past which have been called Llysiago and the name comes from Llys (hall or court, but in this case 'place'), and Iago which is the Welsh translation of James - hence (albeit with some translative license) 'the place of the James family'.

 

The nameplate for our last houses has clearly had some wear and tear and we will probably have to have a new one produced for the new house.


The story starts.


We first saw the plot in May 2014 on a day out with friends at the seaside. Graham and Nina, and their children Mary, Eleanor and Jon, have been regular visitors to this part of the north wales coast and invited us to join them for a day at one of their favourite coastal spots. We had seen the plot on the website of the estate agent and thought it was an ideal opportunity to combine a visit with friends and another viewing of potential building plots. Despite looking a little like a wasteland, we were immediately taken by the location and the view. From the roadside at the top of the plot we could see across the the Menai Straits to Anglesey and Puffin Island. Yes, there were houses in front (and we couldn't ignore the railway line and the A55 coastal road), but we were taken with the view from the highest point of the plot.

 

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Admittedly not the most imposing first sight ...


The access from the road was boarded initially with a gate into the site and a construction sign which would have put off most people. The frontage was overgrown with holly, ivy and a yew tree and the garage door didn't close properly. The fence with the vertical posts on the right hand side of the image is the boundary fence for the property next door - Awel Menai - pushing off to the left of the image alongside is the road frontage of the plot.

 

Does it get better as you go through the gate ..?

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... no, it doesn't .. but we could see the potential.


There was - some fifteen or twenty years ago - a small dwelling on the site. The dwelling caught fire, burned down and the plot has been in disuse since then. You can just see the footprint of the dwelling low down on the plot; it has been partially cleared although a great deal also remains - wood, bricks, pipework and, more importantly, asbestos scattered around the area of the footprint. The removal of the asbestos from the site is one of the early challenges we will face in clearing, developing and building here.


The view from here shows the Menai Straits beyond the A55 with Anglesey (Ynys Mon - Mother of Wales) in the distance. It isn't apparent on this image but, to the right of Anglesey, is uninhabited Puffin Island (Ynys Seiriol).

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Looking back up the plot - towards the road - we can see a cluster of trees, the holly and the yew, and the garage. The garage is a two-storey construction consisting of a small workshop area below, which is accessed from the garden area, and a garage above which is accessed from the road. The garage is in generally poor condition and, because it is constructed primarily of asbestos sheeting, it will need to be demolished and re-built.


There is no intention to demolish the garage immediately - it will provide space for storage in the short-term. However, it wouldn't be allowed as part of any new development because it doesn't allow you to enter the site from the road and turn before exiting back on to the road - planning would require some form of turning circle. The original outline plans show a detached double garage. However, I think we are likely to seek permission for a single garage integrated into the build of the new house.