Res­i­dents’ ob­jec­tions fail to stop new flats

South Wales Echo - - News -

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

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