Detailed plans for 500 new homes approved on former Deeside steelworks site
Detailed plans for 500 new homes have been approved on a former industrial site in Deeside.
Two separate applications to build houses on land at the old Corus steelworks site in Garden City were discussed by councillors on Wednesday, March 30.
The first related to proposals by Clwyd Alyn Housing Association to create 100 affordable properties as part of the Northern Gateway scheme, which also includes the neighbouring Airfields site.
Developers Bellway Homes are also planning to construct 400 houses at the Corus site as part of long-standing ambitions of Flintshire Council and the Welsh Government to deliver a mixed-use redevelopment in the area.
The reserved matters applications by the two housing organisations were considered by members of the local authority’s planning committee after being recommended for approval by officials.
Speaking at the virtual meeting, cabinet member for planning Chris Bithell said Clwyd Alyn’s plans would provide a number of benefits for the area.
He said: “This site already has planning permission for a mixed-use development and forms part of the Northern Gateway site.
“It’s land which has previously been used and is a brownfield site which is ripe for development.
“The application will produce 100 properties, and 100 per cent of them will be affordable.
“There will be one, two, three and four-bedroom properties, including apartments and a few bungalows as well. The application is therefore acceptable in planning terms.”
Concerns were expressed during the meeting over the lack of a financial contribution to boost capacity at local schools after the housing association said it would make the scheme unviable.
Cllr Bernie Attridge said he would be supporting the application, but voiced frustration over what he described as the “pepper-potting” of social housing alongside private developments.
The proposals were approved at the end of the debate with all but one committee member voting in favour.
The plans submitted by Bellway Homes were discussed later in the meeting, which councillors were told would lead to a payment of £970,000 by the developer to improve facilities at Hawarden High School and Sealand Primary School.
Imogen Zulver, a planning agent acting on the company’s behalf, said this was despite the financial contribution potentially impacting the viability of the scheme.
She said: “Members will already be familiar with the strategic site having just considered the reserved matters application for 100 affordable homes.
“Collectively the developments will provide a significant contribution towards meeting housing needs in the county.
“An independent assessment has been undertaken which considers viability implications for the delivery of the wider strategic site.
“This confirms that there are significant viability issues, but this scheme can provide a £970,000 contribution.”
Some members voiced reservations over the proposals after it was revealed the level of affordable housing outlined had been reduced from 30 per cent to just a tenth of the properties.
Cllr Attridge said he could not support the application, despite the developers claiming that providing a higher proportion of affordable housing would make the scheme unviable.
Cllr Mike Peers said there was a demand for lower priced housing in the area and the original percentage should stand.
However, officers said the viability of the scheme was an important matter and the significant contribution towards education should also be considered.
Speaking in support of the plans, Cllr Derek Butler, the council’s cabinet member for economic development, said: “Officers have pointed out that the extent of the whole site in this area is amazing and what we’ve done today is delivering.
“This is a very positive day in planning with some major developments being taken forward and we’ll be delivering for our people.”
The proposals by Bellway Homes were later approved by nine votes to three by councillors.
Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter.
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