News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Plans for 30 apartments on site of arson-hit Connah’s Quay social club put on hold

Plans for 30 apartments on the site of an arson-hit social club have been placed on hold.

It follows concerns being raised about the impact proposals for the former Albion social club in Connah’s Quay will have on the local community.

The building has been plagued by anti-social behaviour in recent years, including a deliberate fire in August 2017.

The Pennaf Housing Group entered an application in partnership with Anwyl Construction to transform the site in June.

However, despite Flintshire Council officers giving their backing to plans to demolish the old building and create an affordable apartment block for over 55s, planning committee members voted to defer them.

Kay Evans, who lives nearby, claimed the application would have a significant impact on the privacy of residents.

Speaking at a meeting today, she said: “Our area is amongst the most deprived in Wales, sitting in the top percentile for multiple deprivation.

“We experience the highest rate of crime and ASB in Flintshire, as well as wider social issues associated with deprivation.

“Our neighbourhood is over represented by dense multi-storey affordable and social housing blocks.

“Many have expressed concerns for the appearance, size and overbearing nature of the building.

“This is a gross overdevelopment of the site and towering visual intrusion.”

In a report Andrew Farrow, the authority’s chief officer for planning, said the scheme would improve the appearance of the area.

An application to build 33 apartments on the site of the club was approved in 2016, but the company behind the previous scheme went into liquidation.

A planning agent said that unlike previous proposals, the new three-storey apartment block will have a flat roof to fit in with the surrounding area.

Ben Thornley also claimed it would have a social benefit.

He said: “Connah’s Quay has some of the highest levels of poverty amongst the aged population in Flintshire.

“Many of these people are living within properties which are unsuitable for their needs and too large or inefficient to heat properly.

“The proposed development directly responds to this by providing affordable over 55 apartments built to lifetime home standards, which will meet the occupants changing needs as they grow older.

“This site has been subject to anti-social behavior and is an eyesore in the area.”

However, the majority of councillors voted to defer the proposals until design issues can be addressed.

The move came after council leader Aaron Shotton raised concerns about the building’s proximity to several listed buildings.

The Connah’s Quay Central representative said: “There are a number of concerns that residents have raised with me, and particularly you’ll see within my observations the concerns around the fact there are grade II listed buildings adjacent to the proposed site.

“At this stage, given there is a concern about the overbearing nature and impact on those listed buildings, I would ask whether there is any merit in deferring the application.”

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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