Affordable homes plan is facing opposition

Outline plans to build 35 affordable homes in a village will be decided by councillors next week.

Powys County Council’s planning committee will meet on Thursday to discuss plans submitted by developers P and S Davies for land at Gornal Farm, Four Crosses.

As the land for the proposal is outside the Local Development Plan area for the village, the scheme is an “exception site”.

This means that only certain types of development such as affordable homes can be built there.

The proposal is for a mix of four one-bedroom bungalows, five two-bedroom bungalows, 12 two-bedroom houses, nine three-bedroom houses and five four-bedroom houses.

Planning officers are backing the scheme as they believe there is: “a proven need to deliver a greater supply of affordable housing across the county.”

But, there is considerable opposition to the scheme which has been “called in” front of the committee by local county councillor, Arwel Jones.

Councillor Jones said he has “grave concerns” about the access to the site and highways issues.

Llandysilio Community Council has looked at the application and discussed it at two meetings

It is objecting to the scheme as members see it as an “over development” of the village because there are other ongoing affordable housing schemes in Four Crosses and this would put an extra strain on resources there.

Llandysilio Community Council clerk, Carol Davies, said: “Whilst it was noted that Mid-Wales Housing are interested in this development, the community council feel that 59 affordable dwellings would be out of proportion for the village.

Infrastructure

“There is concern that the existing infrastructure will not be able to cope with this additional housing.”

At a pre-application consultation on the scheme back in 2017 had highlighted the need for extra sewerage capacity to deal with the development.

Agent, Tudor Watkins of Roger Parry and Partners, said: “The development will make a sustainable contribution to the choice of housing available within the village of Four Crosses through applying for an affordable dwelling exception site.

“Prior to the submission, full discussions and correspondences have been held with a rented social landlord (housing association) which has confirmed their full interest in acquiring this site for 100 per-cent affordable housing.

“This fully indicates the need and demand for affordable housing in the Four Crosses area.”

Mr Watkins said that the site is located in a “sustainable location” with a school, pub, garage, shop, community and leisure facilities all “easily accessible” by walking.

Mr Watkins claims that the scheme would “boost the local economy”.and “provide more children” for the village primary school and will ensure that it “remains necessary and open.”

The future of Llandysilio Church in Wales primary school is now under threat.

As part of Powys County Council’s Transforming Education Strategy, proposals on the school’s future are supposed to be looked at later this year.

If the application is successful and the principle of developing the site is proven, it is expected that a more detailed planning application would follow.

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