Posted: Sat 2nd Mar 2024

Residents in Llantwit Major Furious Over “Overbearing” Portable Homes at Former School Site

news.wales / newyddion.cymru

Residents in a Vale of Glamorgan town are furious about the “overbearing” nature of portable homes that have been put up at a former school site via special planning rules.
Plans for temporary accommodation units on land formerly occupied by Eagleswell Primary School in Llantwit Major were approved in January, 2023, through what is known as permitted development rights.
This allows developments to go ahead without planning permission.
However, some residents in Llantwit Major claim that the units breach certain planning regulations.
One resident, David Thomas, said the accommodation units were about 16m from his property and as little as 8m from a neighbour’s.
David, who lives on Pembroke Place, said: “If these aren’t overbearing, I don’t know what a definition of overbearing would be.
“We have looked at other planning applications on this estate within 50 yards of here and they refused people to have extensions because it is overbearing on their neighbours.
“From my French doors in the morning, I stand here putting the kettle on and all I can see is these massive units.”
David said the council put up a 1.8m fence between his property and the accommodation site, but added that someone from the site would still be able to view into his property.
“I am looking here now… it makes absolutely no difference.
“It is the same height as my fence I have got already and I can still see all the windows of the base floor from top to bottom.”
The council said its temporary accommodation site, made up of 90 units, was for Ukranian refugees fleeing the war in their country.
In a comment made at the end of 2023, Vale of Glamorgan Council said it was not possible to say for how long the accommodation units would be needed.
“It is disgusting what has been foisted on us to be honest,” said one resident, Ann Knight.
“We are fortunate, we have got quite a long garden. It is only the bottom half of our garden that is affected.
“The photos I sent… are the view from our bedroom windows but a lot of the neighbours have got them looking into their properties.
“All of Pembroke Place has and I know some are making themselves ill over it.”
The permitted development rights on the temporary housing development run for 12 months, and as this period came to a close the council prepared a planning application for the site.
Vale of Glamorgan Council said the planning committee was aiming to make a decision on the scheme in February, but this did not happen.
The planning application on the council’s website says a decision is yet to be made on the development.
Ann said the noise during the construction of the site was “incessant” and “dreadful”.
She added: “There was beeping all of the time and the vehicles are reversing. They did their best.
“I know one person had their windows cleaned a few times by the Vale because they were covered in dust.
“Our car was covered in dust all of the time. It was just a building site.”
Ann ‘s husband, Don Knight, transformed the couple’s back garden into a Japanese garden which used to open to members of the public for charity.
However, Ann said the couple were unable to do that last year.
She said: “There is a lot involved to us opening the garden. We get all of the chairs out, all the cushions out and we couldn’t have done any of that because the garden was dirty.
“Okay, it would have been quiet on a Sunday because they don’t work the Sunday, but it only really gave the Saturday afternoon to get everything done for us to be able to be open. It would have been impossible.”
At the time of their approval, the council said the units had been purposely designed to be demountable and could be easily removed and reused for either temporary or permanent accommodation on other sites.
Most of the accommodation is single storey, apart from a number of units in the centre of the site which are two storeys in height.
The scheme will have its own internal road layout and drainage infrastructure, including car parking, and seek to retain many of the established trees and ecological features on the site.
Vale of Glamorgan Council has been approached for a comment. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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