Plans to build 33 affordable homes in Montgomery are approved

Plans for 33 affordable homes in Montgomery have been given the green light, despite concerns about road safety.

The junction From Forden Road To New Road In Montgomery. Pic: Google Streetview.
The junction From Forden Road To New Road In Montgomery. Pic: Google Streetview.

The proposal by Barcud Housing Association, formerly known as Mid Wales Housing Association, was to build the homes on a 1.6-hectare field off Forden Road to the north of town, was discussed by councillors on Powys County Council’s planning committee on Thursday.

At the meeting, Montgomery county councillor Stephen Hayes said: “If this application were not for affordable homes I would be opposing it for this site.

“However, if Montgomery is to thrive as a community it needs to maintain a variety of housing types and sizes and not least those for key workers and young families and for those not currently not able to aspire to owner occupation.

“For these reasons I encourage the committee to approve the recommendation.”

One of the issues with the development has been the road layout and that the junction between Forden Road and New Road is known for being dangerous due to a lack of vision for oncoming traffic in both directions.

Development site for 33 affordable road off Forden Road Montgomery. Pic: Google Streetview

New Road has been used as a rat run for carrying traffic coming from the Welshpool direction towards Shrewsbury so that drivers don’t need to go through the centre of Montgomery.

Councillor Hayes believed that the development provided an “opportunity” to address this issue and provide a “safety benefit.”

Montgomery town councillor Haydn Andrew saw that proposal as a “logical extension” of the town, but there were still concerns.

He pointed out there were “few employment” opportunities in Montgomery and the residents would need to travel for work – adding more traffic which would “create hazards at peak times.”

Geraint Roberts of Barcud Housing explained that plans a care home at the site had been agreed in the past, due to this the land had not been put forward for housing in the current Local Development Plan (LDP).

Mr Roberts said: “The association owns affordable housing in Montgomery, and these have always been in high demand, so we are acutely aware of the need for more affordable housing in the town.”

The housing site shown in context of where it is in Montgomery - from Grid Reference UK.

This need he explained was backed up by data on the housing register which shows a total demand for 100 new homes in the town.

Councillor Linda Corfield said: “I know this area very well the photos don’t do justice of how dangerous this junction is, I use it very rarely, but when you enter or come off it you hope and pray you don’t stall the car in the middle, it really is that bad.”

Powys highways officer Simon Crew said that the 30mph speed limit would be tweaked and a 40mph buffer zone coming into Montgomery would also slow the traffic down.

Councillor Phil Pritchard said: “Having done a lot of my drinking and dancing in Montgomery I do know the area very well.

“This town needs this there are so many young people who have to leave this town because there is no development there.

Councillor Stephen Hayes is in favour of the scheme

“When I was a teenager and I’m 79 tomorrow (October 22) I was using it as a rat run and things don’t change.

“It will be a big improvement – I support it.”

Councillor Pritchard proposed a vote to approve the application which was seconded by Councillor Les George.

The application was approved unanimously with all 19 votes in favour.

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