A new housing scheme has been given the green light to help homeless people in Flintshire find work and accommodation.
An application was entered by Wates Residental to build 12 flats on land near St Andrew’s Church in Garden City in December.
The development, which will be targeted towards vulnerable people experiencing difficulties finding permanent living space, has now been granted permission by officers from Flintshire Council.
It forms part of the authority’s Strategic Housing and Regeneration Programme (SHARP), which aims to meet the needs of the community.
The land formerly belonged to the Church in Wales and was bought by the council in March 2017.
The scheme will be delivered through £1.1m worth of funding from the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme.
[The development site at St Andrew’s Church, Garden City. Source: Wates Residential]
In a planning statement, officials from Wates Residential said one of the purposes of the scheme was to help homeless people back into work.
They said: “A key challenge facing the council is the rising cost of providing bed and breakfast and emergency accommodation for people who present as homeless.
“In response to this, the council has established its Work Place Project, a partnership between Flintshire County Council housing solutions, Communities for Work and Job Centre Plus.
“The project aims to provide housing linked to support and employment for people who are currently subject to a homeless duty.
“Through the project, an experienced mentor will be assigned specifically to support clients through the process ensuring that the client is on a work programme and pathway which is bespoke to the individual.”
Tenants will be able to use a facility set up at the nearby St Andrew’s Community Hub, where they can access support.
They will be offered apprenticeships and job placements as part of the scheme, as well as using the hub for classroom-based training.
The proposed flats have been split into two blocks and some will come with external roof gardens.
A community library previously occupied the site but has since been demolished.
Wates added: “The properties have been designed specifically for this scheme with a vision to create a small, intimate community, made up of a mixed demographic and tenancy across the different sized units.
“The external roof gardens have not only been identified as a way to maximise usable space on site, but it is envisioned that these small, intimate and semi-private spaces will also promote a sense of individuality and personalisation for residents, ultimately creating a sense of ownership; a place or home where people want to stay and live in.
“The development of this site will provide housing in the Garden City area and make a positive contribution in strengthening the community as well as remove a vacant site that could otherwise fall foul of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.”
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).