Plans for Abertillery affordable homes to be voted on by Gwent Council

PLANS to build 22 affordable homes at the site of a former bowls hall in Abertillery will be decided by Blaenau Gwent councillors next week.

The proposal by Melin Homes is for a mixture of flats and houses at the site just off Vivian Street in Abertillery and will be discussed at a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Planning meeting on Thursday, January 11.

Melin Homes wants to build 14 one-bedroom flats, four two-bedroom flats, three two-bedroom houses, and one two-bedroom bungalow with the necessary access, engineering, and associated works at the site.

The bowls hall was demolished around six years ago.

In her report, planning development team manager Steph Hopkins explained that the road entrance from Castle Street would need to be widened to allow larger vehicles to move in and out of the site.

The existing retaining walls at the site would also need to be kept and altered to support the road.

The council’s leisure service has asked that Melin Homes pay £39,920 which would be used to improve play, sport and recreational facilities and infrastructure at Six Bells Park which is near the development site.

Mrs Hopkins said: “When approaching the site from Castle Street, the first property located on site is the detached bungalow, then a pair of semi-detached two bed houses, and another detached two bed house.

“These properties, except for the bungalow, would be two storeys in height.

“The flats make up a large apartment building, situated to the southeast of the properties.

“A total of 30 parking spaces will be provided to serve the development; the
three houses and bungalow are each provided with two spaces with a total of
22 spaces to serve the apartment building.”

Mrs Hopkins explains that the houses and bungalow would have their own gardens while the flats would have a “shared” amenity and public open space.

She added that one objection had been received which raised concerns on issues surrounding road safety and congestion and the loss of parking spaces for locals.

Mrs Hopkins said: “The Highway Authority has been made aware of the objections and has not raised any concern in respect of additional traffic associated with the proposed development.”

Mrs Hopkins added that Melin Homes had agreed to contribute £39,920 to leisure services and would enter a section (s) 106 agreement to confirm the payment.

Mrs Hopkins said: “The proposed development would also deliver 22 affordable housing properties.

“Currently the LDP (Local Development Plan) is behind target in terms of
affordable properties and this proposal will assist in achieving the target.

“It is considered that the development proposal is, subject to conditions and a
s106 agreement to secure provision for leisure contribution, acceptable and complies with relevant policies.”

Mrs Hopkins advises councillors to approve the proposal but with the backstop of delegating powers to planning officers to refuse the application, if the s106 agreement and planning conditions are not “complied” with.

Asbri Planning Limited who are the agents for Melin Homes, said: “The proposals comprise an exciting opportunity to develop a vacant land parcel in a sustainable location.”

If the plans get the thumbs up a further sustainable drainage application will need to be approved before building work can start.

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