Posted: Tue 5th Mar 2024

Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change Mulls Over Controversial Housing Plans in Caersws /

A PAUSE has been put on controversial plans to build 29 homes in Caersws in a site with flooding problems.
This is so that the Welsh Government minister for Climate Change, Julie James MS can mull over taking charge of the decision making process after being asked to “call in” the application.
The application for 29 homes at Pen y Borfa in Caersws was lodged with Powys County Council by Towyn Marine Properties Ltd on behalf of the landowners Alwyn and Geraint Jarman, back in November last year.
The application was validated at the end of January following a pre-planning application consultation.
An outline planning application for 43 properties including a “sheltered housing development” on the site was approved by the council’s planning committee back 2020.
Last summer the applicants wanted to amend the approval by deleting the sheltered housing part of the proposal.
This would allow more flexibility to develop the site which has flooding issues.
This application was refused and Powys planners advised that a new planning application would be needed for any reduction in size for the development.
The new proposal would see the 29 homes split into two four-bedroom detached homes, 11 three-bedroom detached homes, 10 three-bedroom semi-detached homes and six three-bedroom terraced houses.
Three of the homes would be “affordable homes.”
A Welsh Government spokesman confirmed that a call in request had been received.
This means Powys County Council can continue processing the application but are not allowed to grant it planning permission – but they could refuse it.
Caersws Community Council has discussed the proposal at an extraordinary council meeting held on February 15.
Caersws council said: “Councillors and residents discussed the planning application and there was some disagreement regarding whether the council should put forward an objection or a neutral response.
The council said thay were “all were in agreement “over a number of concerns for the project.
These include: is there adequate sewerage for the development, is the parking for residents sufficient.
There is also a “lack of confidence” that reducing the size of the development will “alleviate” flooding issues.
The council said that residents are concerned that the development will: “cause faster surface water run-off into the Manthrig Brook, exacerbating the flooding that is already an issue. ”
If the proposal is given the go ahead, the council want to see a legal agreement made to ensure that the developers do the necessary work to: “alleviate the current flooding issues from Manthrig Brook” so that the development doesn’t make flooding worse for people living close by.
The council said that they will be asking the Powys County Councillor for Caersws, Cllr Les George to “call in” the application to be decided by Planning committee.
Members of the Caersws Residents Group have said that they have also lodged objections to the proposal with Powys planners.
Planning agent Etchell’s Architecture said:  “Due to the previously highlighted flood risk constraints, the developable area for the site has been reduced to 1.05 hectares.
“The reduction of development size is borne from the desire to ensure there is no flood risk to either the proposed development or the neighbouring properties.”
They added that a registered social landlord has already shown an “interest” in the affordable housing aspect of the scheme. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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