Housing scheme has to wait for dormice to stop sleeping
A DEVELOPMENT of large detached houses has been given the goahead near Cross Hands, but construction work can’t take place while dormice are asleep.
The 20 houses, plus two semi-detached affordable ones, are to be built on land off Bron yr Ynn, Drefach, diagonally opposite the primary school.
Carmarthenshire Council’s planning committee gave the scheme outline consent by 10 votes to four, with three abstentions.
The committee heard the developer will keep existing bushes and trees along the eastern boundary for dormice, which are a protected species, and must abide by the terms of a Natural Resources Wales licence. A planning officer said: “These dor- mice sleep during the winter, so nothing can take place during the winter as they will be hibernating.”
The officer said dormice boxes would be provided during construction to try to ensure the creatures didn’t bolt when work eventually gets under way.
Concerns were raised by councillors that the estate would give rise to a “rat run” by creating a short cut between two main roads – Heol Blaenhirwaun and Heol Cwmmawr – but they were advised that “access only” signs would be installed, meaning that anyone using the route as a rat run would be breaking the law.
In addition, Bron yr Ynn is to be widened and a new pavement installed, and residents’ parking provided. Traffic calming measures are also proposed for Heol Blaenhirwaun.
The new estate is on land allocated for development in the county’s local development plan.
It will have a spine road, adopted by the council, and smaller non-adopted cul-de-sacs.
The developer must make a £13,000 education contribution, plus another sum towards open spaces, as part of a planning agreement with the authority.
The application for the houses prompted 20 letters of objection, with concerns also raised by Gorslas Community Council and ward councillors Darren Price and Aled Vaughan Owen.
Addressing the committee, Mr Owen said: “We don’t think the new junction next to the primary school is suitable.”
Some committee members said they weren’t happy with the creation of a new link between the two main roads, and wanted to be sure a new junction with Heol Blaenhirwaun would be safe, particularly as quarry lorries used it.
A highways officer said a speed bump would be installed on Heol Blaenhirwaun near an existing 20mph sign.
He added: “If you want flashing lights, we can put them in as well.”
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A sleeping dormouse.