Powys Councillors discuss three-year limit to address housing crisis in county

COUNCILLORS want to see Powys County Council crack on and build homes to help address the housing crisis in the county.

At a meeting of council’s Planning committee on Thursday, April 6 councillors discussed an application by the authority itself for a three year time limit extension to produce detailed plans to build a housing estate in Churchstoke.

In January 2017, the Planning committee granted outline planning permission to build up to 45 homes on 1.7 hectares of land next to Fir House in the village.

The means that the principle for building on the site has been agreed – but the details of the scheme need to be submitted in a further planning application.

A three year extension had alreay been granted in January 2020 which ran out last January.

Committee chairman Cllr Karl Lewis said: “I’m really disappointed.

“This is the third time it’s been in front of committee, and I hope after this, officers do build it out.

” I know it isn’t, but this can be seen as a form of land banking.”

Cllr Angela Davies said: “Why hasn’t it been built?

“Are we stifling growth in our communities if we’re effectively blocking planning in that area?”

Planning office Richard Edwards said: “My understanding is that housing (department) are looking to develop the site.

“There have been delays due to Covid-19 the knock on effects of (increased costs) building materials etc.

“The extension has come in because Powys is looking to develop the site if all goes well.”

Cllr Davies added: “We really should be putting some pressure on the local authority to have these applications built.

“We’ve discussed housing issues across the Powys, and we need to do everything in our power to make sure it goes ahead.”

The need for sustainable drainage applications to be approved came into force in 2019, two years after the outline planning application had been approved.

Cllr Heulwen Hulme asked whether the proposal would now need to a have a sustainable drainage application also approved?

Highways officer, Alastair Knox said: “They won’t need to do an application but will need to meet the design standards.”

All 14 councillors present in the meeting unanimously voted in favour of the time extension.

According to the report 20 per cent (nine houses) of the Churchstoke scheme would be affordable homes.

Part of the proposal would see a contribution go towards maintaining recreation and play facilities in the village if none are provided as part of the development.

This would be in the form of a payment to Churchstoke community council.

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