Plan to build homes on play­ing area

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Views - LIZ BRAD­FIELD­desk@waleson­

PLANS to build af­ford­able homes on a chil­dren’s play area in Brid­gend are to go be­fore coun­cil­lors again af­ter they asked whether the need for hous­ing out­weighed the loss of recre­ational space.

Wales & West Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion want to build four two-bed­room homes on land to the west of Bryn Bragl in Brackla.

The site orig­i­nally formed part of a scheme for 14 homes but the devel­op­ment was re­duced to 10 homes which then gained plan­ning con­sent in July.

A con­di­tion of per­mis­sion at the time in­volved the pro­vi­sion of an equipped play area which in­cluded a pro­gramme for on­go­ing main­te­nance.

But the hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion has now sub­mit­ted an­other ap­pli­ca­tion to re­in­state the four ex­tra homes.

The site is cur­rently an open space and in­volves an “in­for­mal un­equipped recre­ational space” with an all-weather multi-sports ball court.

Plan­ning of­fi­cers at Brid­gend County Bor­ough Coun­cil rec­om­mended the plans for re­fusal say­ing the plans went against poli­cies pro­tect­ing open space and recre­ation fa­cil­i­ties.

They point out that if the plans gain con­sent only a small area will then be left des­ig­nated for chil­dren’s play and that due to its scale, shape and lo­ca­tion, it won’t be read­ily us­able for chil­dren and won’t pro­vide much amenity for ex­ist­ing res­i­dents, the wider com­mu­nity and fu­ture oc­cu­piers of the af­ford­able homes al­ready ap­proved.

How­ever at a devel­op­ment con­trol meet­ing on Au­gust 30, coun­cil­lors asked whether the ben­e­fits of af­ford­able hous­ing out­weighed the rea­sons for re­fus­ing it.

A coun­cil au­dit on chil­dren’s play ar­eas which took place last year in­di­cated Brackla Ward had too many “un­equipped in­for­mal play spa­ces” but not enough equipped play space.

The plans are to come be­fore coun­cil­lors again once ex­tra in­for­ma­tion has been gath­ered on whether the devel­op­ment jus­ti­fies the loss of greenspace.

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