Tonypandy Flats Development Receives Approval Despite Concerns
A block of flats in the centre of Tonypandy has been given approval despite some concerns.
The application for 20 one and two-bed flats at the former Royal Naval Association Club on Court Street went back before Rhondda Cynon Taf’s planning committee on Thursday, December and was given approval.
Back in October, Rhondda Cynon Taf’s planning committee voted that they were minded to refuse the application despite officers recommending approval.
Members raised concerns in respect of off-street parking provision, on-site parking provision, the alleged prematurity of the development and claims the scheme would constitute an overdevelopment of the site.
It was decided to defer deciding the application for a further report to highlight the potential strengths and weaknesses of taking a decision contrary to officer recommendation.
This application has since been revised down from 22 flats to 20 since the October meeting and the top floor has been removed entirely, so that the development would be arranged over five floors.
It would be made up of a basement with 13 parking spaces, bin store, cycle store, plant room and a vehicle entrance to the car park, a ground floor with two one-bed and three two-bed flats, landscaping, cycle store and main pedestrian entrances from Court Street, a first floor with three one-bed and two two-bed flats, a second floor with three one-bed and two two-bed flats and a third floor with three one-bed and two two-bed flats.
A further public consultation was done and responses were received raising concern over parking, privacy, natural light and access. It was noted that the proposal would still be very close to the boundary with claims it would be an invasive form of development.
A further email was received from another resident, reiterating the numerous
objections submitted in their original consultation response.
The planning report said that if members considered the changes were insufficient to allay concerns regarding off-street parking provision, on-site amenity space for future residents and that the scale of the scheme would still constitute an overdevelopment, these reasons for refusal were suggested: “By virtue of its scale and location the proposed scheme is considered to represent an overdevelopment of the site which would be harmful to the form
and appearance of the surrounding built environment and local character.
“In addition, the development would provide insufficient off-street parking
provision, resulting in overspill to neighbouring streets where there is already
high on-street parking demand, to the detriment of highway safety and free flow of traffic.
“Furthermore, the development would not be considered to provide adequate onsite amenity space for the benefit and well-being of future applicants, whilst that located closest to the site would not be conveniently located.”
But planning officers also suggested a reason for approval if the changes are enough to outweigh previous concerns which would say that the application site occupies a highly sustainable location where both PPW11 (Planning Policy Wales 11) and FW2040 (Future Wales 2040) support the principle of growth and where the LDP presumes in favour of residential development.
It would say: “The proposed market apartments would be an appropriate land use, given the surrounding residential development; would regenerate a long vacant brownfield site in a prominent position and would contribute to the variety of the local housing mix.
“The development is therefore considered to align with the relevant policies of
the Local Development Plan, would be acceptable in respect of its visual impact and any impact upon the amenity and privacy of the neighbouring residential properties, and would not be harmful to highway safety.”
Local councillor and committee member Gareth Hughes said he had previously supported the development for 12 units as a positive use of vacant land with new housing supply and a diversity of housing.
But he said: “For me it is still an overdevelopment of this site. This site is very very small. I am amazed that that development could fit in the site.”
He also said the concerns were about issues that come with the development, mentioning the fact that the number of car parking spaces is short of the guidance.
He said: “Just because you live in a flat in a town centre, doesn’t mean you don’t or won’t require a car.”
He said it’s a shame that the site isn’t being developed as one with Mitchell Court and added that it would be nice to see it be developed with one development rather than as a piecemeal one.
He also highlighted the lack of consistency in determining applications around amenity space and said that he is not convinced the development is viable.
But fellow committee member Councillor Ross Williams said it looks good and he couldn’t see any reason to refuse the application.
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