Concerns raised over plans to build eight homes at former leather goods factory
Concerns have been raised over plans to build eight homes on the site of a former leather goods factory in Llanidloes.
Back in March, Mike Prior of JJP Services Ltd lodged plans with Powys County Council to demolish the former Sandringham leather goods factory on Eastgate Street and build eight homes, an access road, car parking and gardens there.
The proposal would see two two-bedroom homes and six three-bedroom homes built at the site, which is opposite Llanidloes War Memorial Hospital and next to the Huws Gray builder’s merchants.
Wales’s largest independent furniture store, Hafren Furnishers, actually owns the site.
Powys senior environmental health officer Paul Bufton said: “I am concerned about the proximity of the proposed dwellings to the existing builder’s merchants and the impact of noise on amenity, particularly from early morning activity.
“The properties are sited right next to the delivery road into the site.”
Mr Bufton said that he wanted the developers to do a noise impact assessment which would also include how they plan to reduce the noise effect.
He added: “The new dwellings need to have a reasonable level of amenity and the existing business needs to be protected from future complaints which could affect its operation.”
Environment body, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has also raised concerns that the site is contaminated.
NRW development planning management advisor, Debra Renshaw said: “The site is located on aquifer in close proximity to the River Severn.
“Given the former use of the site as a leather goods factory there is no detail on what process of leather working was undertaken on the site.
The concern according to NRW is whether the raw leather tanning process took place at the factory or off-site.
Due to these concerns Ms Renshaw suggests a number of conditions placed on any planning permission to ensure that no potential contamination of the Severn could be caused by the scheme.
Planning agent Mark Owen, of Owen and Lacey Architectural Services Ltd, explained the proposal in a design and access statement.
Mr Owen said that the single-storey 1960s-era built factory “is in average condition” and would require “substantial refurbishment” to bring it back to full working condition.
He said: “It is not known for certain when the Sandringham leather factory use ceased. It was purchased in 1997 by Hafren Furnisher with the principal use of self-storage and unloading full container loads of furnishings.”
One of the obstacles the development needs to overcome is that building houses on the site would mean a loss of land for employment.
On the town’s outskirts are Parc Derwen Fawr business park and Parc Hafren industrial estate which have empty units.
Mr Owen said: “There are sufficient alternative commercial properties available in the area, to warrant the loss of the existing building.”
In this part of Powys, the council requires 10 per cent of a development to be affordable homes.
Mr Owen explained that the firm would pay a financial contribution instead of building on-site provision.
A decision on the application is expected soon.