Planning Permission Granted for Social Housing Development on Former Coal Tip in Merthyr Tydfil
More than 40 homes are set to be built on a former coal tip in Merthyr Tydfil after getting planning permission from councillors despite concerns over land stability.
The application for 42 homes from Merthyr Valley Homes for land south of Swansea Road was approved by the council’s planning committee on Wednesday, January 17, despite concerns being raised over the land.
Councillor Michelle Jones said she welcomes the development of social housing but mentioned the number of objections raised by residents.
She said as it is being built on a former coal tip, residents are very concerned that the land is sinking.
But Cllr Jones also said she’s all for more social housing as she’s aware of the desperate need for one and two bedroom properties.
However she said she had to vote against it based on residents’ feedback and although she welcomes the social housing aspect she has to take into consideration all the residents who have contacted her and raised their concerns.
The application relates to an irregular shaped area of land measuring approximately 1.9 hectares, which is mainly made up of a former tip site and it lies east of Waunbant Court and north west of Old Winchfawr Road.
The plan is for a mixture of two to four-bedroom detached, semi-detached and terraced properties, which include four bungalows and six flats.
A new access road will be built and all of the residential units will have parking on driveways, with three spaces provided for the four-bedroom houses, two parking spaces for the three-bedroom houses and one parking
space for the one and two-bedroom houses and flats.
The plans include the planting of trees, shrubs and a hedgerow along with sustainable drainage system planting.
The site is allocated within the LDP (Local Development Plan) for residential development for 40 units and planning permission was previously granted for the residential development of the site, which included 39 homes at the time.
There were 14 letters of objection to the application received by the council which raised concerns that the existing highway network, particularly the lane to the west of the site, could not support the additional traffic generated by the development.
They said the new junction on to Swansea Road would cause highway safety concerns and that the development would cause damage and disturbance to existing residents during construction.
They added that the types of houses proposed were not in keeping with the area and raised concerns with the unstable ground which had sunk over the years.
The objectors said there was knotweed within the site, and raised concerns for the safety of children and over the loss of privacy to neighbouring properties.
They said a social housing development would bring noise, disturbance and anti-social activity to a quiet community and they said the loss of open space currently used by local residents would have an impact on their health and well-being.
But officers recommended approval, saying: “Whilst there is a need to provide further details for the preparation of the site for development, which can be secured by a condition, it has been adequately demonstrated that suitable
remediation measures can be put in place to address the stability concerns identified.
“In this regard, it is acknowledged that the head engineering and highways has not raised any objection to the development. Therefore, it is considered that a suitable engineering solution can be implemented to ensure the safe development of site.”
They said that whilst concerns were raised by residents that the proposed junction onto Swansea Road would be too close to the existing junction onto Waunbant Court, the head of engineering and highways had not raised any highway safety concerns.
They added that concerns had been raised by local residents that the traffic generated by the development, together the existing volume and speed of traffic along Swansea Road, would give rise to greater highway safety concerns.
To address this issue, a transport statement has been submitted in support of the application, which assesses the potential traffic impacts of the development and concludes that the level of traffic would have a negligible impact on the capacity of the highway network.
The officer report said that the development would “not give rise to significant highway safety concerns” and would “not differ greatly” from the previously approved residential scheme for 39 homes.
The report said that, given the scale of the proposal and the extensive ground works that would be required to enable the development of the site, there were likely to be some impacts in terms of dust and noisy operations so a construction management plan could be secured by condition, which set out the appropriate measures to minimise the temporary impacts on surrounding residents during the construction phase of the development. It said the hours of construction could also be conditioned to limit the times to reasonable hours in the day.
The report added that the overall design of the development was deemed to be acceptable and would not have an adverse impact on the character or appearance of the surrounding area.
It said that the site was privately maintained land and was not recognised as an area of formal or informal public open space, adding that while the majority of the site would be developed, a small area of informal open space would be provided close to the entrance of the site.
Officers said it would be difficult to introduce a larger more central area
of open space within the scheme due to the constraints and viability of the development.
On the concerns over noise, disturbance and anti-social behaviour, the report said the development would be located within an established residential area on land that was allocated for residential development, which was supported by the LDP policies and that the occupiers of the proposed homes and the behaviour of future residents was not a material planning consideration.
It said excessive noise and disturbance that caused a nuisance would be a matter for environmental health and any anti-social activity would be a matter for South Wales Police.
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