Social housing plans approved for former Tonypandy Conservative Club site
Plans to build social housing flats on the site of the former Conservative Club in Tonypandy have been given the green light by councillors.
The application for the redevelopment of the former club site on Berw Road to provide 10 flats, car parking and associated works was approved by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s planning committee on Thursday, June 8.
The plan is to build a single building with 100% social housing and eight of the flats would be one-bedroom with the other two flats containing two bedrooms each.
The planning report said that the irregular footprint of the building has been designed to be split level, to account for the site topography and would therefore have two storeys at its western end and three storeys at its eastern section.
All flats would have pedestrian access onto Berw Road, three with their own entrance and the remaining seven via a communal entrance and staircase.
The outdoor areas have been arranged to include a communal garden, small SuDs (sustainable drainage) attenuation basin, a cycle store and bin store.
There are also set to be three off-street parking spaces provided off Zion Terrace.
The site is a vacant parcel of land at the junction of Berw Road and Zion Terrace, towards the centre of Tonypandy and was once home to the Tonypandy Conservative Club, although it is understood that this was demolished in 2003 and the site has been vacant and overgrown ever since.
The report said the property is very close to a range of land uses, including the council’s offices immediately to the east, Mitchell Court to the south, Tonypandy bus station and a variety of other retail and residential properties.
Five letters of objection from neighbouring residents were received which raised issues over highways/access, amenity, ecology and other matters.
They said there is limited parking in their street as it stands, unless they park on the pavement, and limited access for emergency services as it’s single width.
They said the proposed three spaces to park on site are inadequate and the access to them would restrict on-street parking further.
The objectors also said that the junction to the street is blocked by people parking and Zion Terrace cannot cope with further traffic.
One objector added that the occupiers of the flats will be able to see into their property in Mitchell Court and their view will be impacted.
There were also concerns that a property would be severely overlooked (on De Winton Terrace) and there is little privacy from the current flats.
The objections also raised concern over noise, dust and disruption during construction which they said would be intolerable.
They also said their light is going to be affected too as a high rise doesn’t belong pushed at the end of their street, with windows looking onto us.
Other concerns were that the development will kill off the wildlife that has been thriving in the space, that there is already a block of flats close by which cause issues and police are there quite often so sticking more flats for social housing here is going to cause more trouble, crime and drug usage is already a problem in the area and that it would be nice to see something else built on the land such as a row of bungalows with off-street parking.
In recommending approval, planning officers said in their report: “The application property has been in a derelict condition since the
removal of the buildings which once occupied the site.
“Its redevelopment, to provide a range of affordable flats in a sustainable location, would accord with local and national planning policy which seeks to prioritise the use of brownfield sites.
“Furthermore, the attractive design of the proposed development would greatly enhance the street scene and since its scale would be comparable to the former Club buildings and appropriate to the local context, it would be acceptable in terms of neighbour amenity.”
They concluded that it would provide much-needed affordable homes in a sustainable location and would also result in an improvement to the public realm, would be appropriate in terms of neighbouring land uses and the amenity of existing residents and would not be harmful to highway safety.
Councillor Gareth Hughes, committee member and local ward councillor, raised concern that only three off-street parking spaces being provided and that they’ll be removing much needed on street parking for the residents of Zion Terrace.
He also said with nearby Mitchell Court being demolished he would rather see these sites considered as a whole so the area can have the best possible development rather than piecemeal development.
Councillor Danny Grehan said he agrees with the local councillor in relation to parking and holding the site until they know what’s happening with the whole site.
But Councillor Ross Williams said they’ve got 19th Century roads and 21st Century traffic and said there are parking problems throughout the county borough adding that if they went down the road of rejecting on parking they wouldn’t have any new developments which they’re so desperate for.
He said: “It’s a pleasure to see such a good development for social housing which we so desperately need.”
A motion to refuse the application fell and then the committee voted in favour of officers’ recommendations.
By BBC LDRS
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