FEELINGS ran high and ‘order’ had to be restored during a public meeting over plans to create 39 camping ‘pods’ and an additional 65 pitches in Prestatyn.

People packed into the Alive Church on Monday night to discuss the future of the land at the site on Victoria Road.

Developer Noah Robinson, who is understood to have been invited to the meeting but did not attend, is behind proposals which will see 31 timber camping ‘pods’ built and eight family-sized ones.

Residents quizzed town and county councillor Tony Flynn, who chaired the meeting, along with his daughter, Rachel Flynn, also a town and county councillor.

Jack Jones, who runs The White House by the Sea caravan park on Victoria Road, was first to take the microphone.

The 92-year-old told audiences not only how the plans would affect him, but also wildlife.

“The ones who are suffering, they can’t be here – the wildlife,” he said. “God gave us the chance to look after our own. We look after wildlife in other countries. We have got to protect what is left.”

Cllr Rachel Flynn explained that Prestatyn Town Council was opposing the application on many grounds, including the loss of public space, adverse impact on the local environment, the development not being considered in the spirit of the original purchase for the people of Prestatyn and unhindered access to the beach.

Cllr Tony Flynn stressed to crowds that the county council “don’t have to listen to our voice” but “tonight’s consultation will reinforce the message felt” [prior to the application going to full planning], he said.

One resident claimed the developer was “grabbing everything he can get hold of”.

“It seems we’re getting a wall-to-wall caravan park,” they added.

Malcolm Wilkinson, from the Friends of the Ffrith, asked audiences to “think” what the site could have been.

“We stopped it being a garden centre; it was going to be a DIY store – all sorts of things. Even possibility of housing,” he said.

“If you go to the east of the land – that is common land that belongs to Denbighshire, but it is nothing to do with the leaseholder of the site.

“For seven years running, we’ve won the ‘green flag’ award – that is how good it is. It is about two hectares.

“Beyond that we’ve got DCC retained land and we also help with that. We are planning an awful lot of recreational activities for the community and families.

“You hear stories that all the paths are going to close. That is simply not the case.

“I’m a footpath officer for the Ramblers Association. There are paths that will remain open.”

Mr Wilkinson was met with echoes of “no” but continued to speak.

He added: “The Friends of the Ffrith are not approving or objecting [the application]. If this does go ahead, then we want certain conditions met.

“It is vitally important we protect the sand dunes which are a natural sea defence.

“Secondly, we must come to an agreement with Denbighshire County Council countryside services, Prestatyn Town Council and the leaseholder to agree a network of paths so you can still have the benefit of walking around there.

“Don’t object to it just because you feel all the paths are going to close. You can still get to the beach.”

A resident shouted out: “I don’t trust that man [the developer]” - in which cllr T Flynn called for ‘order’ before he himself addressed Mr Wilkinson.

“If this goes ahead, what conditions should be demanded?” he asked.

Feathers were ruffled when one man pledged his support for the application.

He said: “What you are talking about is derelict building and overrun land. That is what you are fighting to keep. Since Noah took it over, he has put money in that place. He has really improved it.”

“What is it going to be? Just as it was. You like concrete?”

As audiences became rowdy, Cllr Tony Flynn tried to resume calm - telling the crowds: “Oi - excuse me, the gentleman has the right to speak.”

Cllr T Flynn shouted: “It is getting passionate. It is important to recognise that if anyone wants to speak in a public meeting in favour of this expansion, they are allowed to do so and we have to listen to them as they have to listen to those against. He may be in the minority, but he still has to be heard.

“Noah hasn’t come - he was invited, but he hasn’t come for whatever reason.”

Sandra Pitt, also of Friends of Ffrith, said: “When we started with friends of the Ffrith, we walked the streets putting leaflets through your doors. All asking what you wanted, and you all wanted the Ffrith how it use to be.

“It doesn’t work that way now. We haven’t got the money to do that, plus those living around the Ffrith will soon be complaining then about the go-karts going at 10pm at night.”

One resident interrupted to say ‘she liked them’ in which the Ms Pitt responded: “Fine. You’re not against noise and holidaymakers having a good time, right?”

Steve Fenner, of Artisans Collective, said the present application was “wrong”.

“We can’t get away from the fact that this land was designated for public use. This application will stop this happening,” he added.

One resident asked: “Where will it end? We all deserve to have a nice bit of Prestatyn. Why can’t he be happy with what he has got?

“Money talks and it will get bigger and bigger.”

A hand count at the end of the meeting revealed residents were still largely against the proposals.

They were asked to write down their comments/objections at the meeting, prior to today’s (Wednesday) deadline.