Posted: Mon 26th Jun 2023

Plans to build 56 affordable homes in Barry

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jun 26th, 2023

Plans to build affordable homes on a disused railway track in Barry were approved despite concerns over the quality of life of future inhabitants.
An outline planning application for the 56 flats, proposed for land to the north of the eastern end of Ffordd y Mileniwm, was approved at a Vale of Glamorgan planning committee meeting on Wednesday, March 29.
Hafod Housing Association, who are one of the applicants behind the plans, and a number of councillors pointed to the high demand for affordable housing in the area and how this development could help ease that.
However, some councillors raised concerns about the amount of amenity space that would be available to future residents and the potential disruption they might face with the main line between Cardiff and Barry being next to the site.
A member of the planning committee, Cllr Nic Hodges, said he had “worries about the quality of life” of the people who will live in the flats.
Cllr Hodges, who is Vale of Glamorgan Council ward member for Baruc in Barry, added: “This is a major trunk road and to build this scheme in this area by a railway line and by a major road I think goes to show that we are starting as a council to scratch around for sites in Barry.
Cllr Ian Johnson concurred with his colleague in the Plaid group at the Vale council, saying: “Fundamentally for me, the issue with this application is the site.”
He said it was “isolated from Barry”, adding: “I don’t actually feel like this is a good location for housing in the first place.
“Here, we have got an area of social housing that we are looking to develop which is largely only available if you have a car.”
Ian Robinson agreed with Cllr Hodges comment that the council is scratching around for sites in Barry.
Vale of Glamorgan planning officer, Ian Robinson, also agreed that the council is scratching around for sites, but added that he thinks the site is “achievable”.
“There is not a great deal out there,” he said.
“…where else in Barry are we going to find space for houses? It does stack up as an achievable site in our opinion.”
The Vale of Glamorgan’s cabinet member for neighbourhood and building services, Cllr Mark Wilson, said: “There is a great need for housing in this area and we have really got to reach a balance in terms of this application.
“This housing association has got a good reputation and I think it will be a [well] managed development.
“Barry has got the biggest population of any centre in the Vale of Glamorgan and there is a big need for housing.”
When the plans were first revealed in 2020, it was initially proposed that there would be 93 flats. However this was later downsized.
Representing Hafod Housing at the planning committee meeting, Michael Rees of LRM Planning conceded that the original proposal was “too bold and rightly attracted some criticism”.
He added: “As a result of working closely with officers, those concerns have been addressed”
“The proposed buildings are virtually invisible from key viewpoints into the site and a new protected right turning lane introduced at the junction.
“When the Welsh Government set out its criteria for the future selection of brownfield sites, their aim was to focus on previously developed land in sustainable locations, well served by local amenities and public transport and in particular, train stations.
“It was as though this policy had been written specifically with sites such as this in mind.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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



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