Residents’ objections fail to stop new flats
APPROVAL has been granted for a social housing development on the site of a former garage in Rhondda Cynon Taf despite residents’ concerns over the size of the new building.
The application from Hafod Housing Association for 15 flats on the site of the former Empire Garage on Lanelay Road in Talbot Green were given the green light by RCT’s planning and development committee on Thursday.
The application had been deferred at a meeting in July for a site visit to take place because councillors had concerns over the height and scale of the proposal. It came back before committee in October and was deferred again for the applicant to further consider redesigning it.
Resident Richard Wilkins told the planning committee he had concerns over the size, mass and effect it would have on the street scene as well as a loss of parking.
He said Hafod had chosen not to change its plans and that financial viability was not a planning consideration.
Geraldine Watkins, who lives in a property adjacent to the development, said the new building was “very disproportionate to the surrounding buildings” and that the disruption will be “horrific” for her family.
She said: “It will completely overshadow and dwarf my building. They really don’t seem to have considered us at all. It is really unacceptable. It is a monstrosity of a building.”
Julie James also spoke against the application. She said the building will be overbearing and overshadowing and that she was also concerned about light pollution.
“It is shocking. I am extremely concerned with the noise and disruption that will inevitably occur.”
Jon Wilks, speaking on behalf of Hafod Housing Association, said: “The application stands on its own two feet in terms of design and amenity.”
Mr Wilks said Hafod had engaged with residents and listened to their concerns by reducing the height of the building and changing the design.
He said: “The building sits comfortably in its context and would not have an undue impact.
“It is perfectly legitimate for the building to be around it.”
He admitted it would result in the loss of on-street parking but that evidence shows parking take up in social housing is significantly lower than with private housing.
Councillor Stephen Powell, who represents Talbot Green, said he felt the development was “too much”.
Councillor Pauline Jarman said it was over-development and voiced taller than those her concerns over the effect on neighbours and those who live in the flats.
But Councillor Gareth Hughes said that although he accepts residents’ concerns, on balance it was not big enough to turn down.
He added that it was in a sustainable location and there was a need for social housing.
The council’s planning and development committee voted with officer recommendations to approve it.
How the flats on Lanelay Road in Talbot Green could look