Posted: Wed 28th Jun 2023

Pembrokeshire community group receives £100,000 to help provide affordable housing

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jun 28th, 2023

£100,000 from Pembrokeshire’s second homes council tax premium funds have been awarded to a community group to help provide affordable housing. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet, at their May meeting, considered a business case made by Nolton & Roch Community Land Trust for financial support to purchase a parcel of land. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A report for members said: “The [Trust] has requested funding from the council towards the purchase of a parcel of land for affordable housing. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Second Home Council Tax Premium may be used by the council to assist with community led Housing developments to increase the supply of affordable housing.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Members heard a suitable plot – whittled down from an initial six – had been identified, which could accommodate up to 19 homes, the Trust working in partnership with ateb Housing Association. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Through this partnership, it is anticipated that ateb will seek a Social Housing Grant towards the cost of the build,” members heard. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In its application, Nolton and Roch community Land Trust said the landowner had agreed to the sale of the land at “a very attractive price”. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It said the cost of meeting Welsh Government requirements for energy performance standards, and a hope of building zero-carbon houses, had led to the hopes of financial support from the county council to purchase the site. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It added: “We also request sufficient funding to engage a buildings design consultant who can support our CLT during the project. Although enthusiastic and reasonably technically competent our Board does not possess sufficient expertise to understand fully the industry-specific technicalities nor the detailed legislation. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“An experienced consultant will help to ensure that our expectations are realistic, that our viewpoint is properly heard and understood and, importantly, it will help us to keep track of the project and oversee progress.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It was recommended that £100,000, plus up to £10,000 towards legal fees, be allocated towards acquisition of land. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cabinet members unanimously supported the recommendation, Councillor Neil Prior – who moved approval – praising the role of the Trust in “taking on the initiative”. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He was backed by Councillor Michelle Bateman, who said: “We know there’s a housing crisis in Pembrokeshire, it’s really good to see a pro-active group coming forward.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Bateman said she hoped to see similar proposals in other areas: “It’s not the solution to our housing crisis, but it’s a small part.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By BBC LDRS ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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