Posted: Wed 6th May 2020

Penyffordd retirement apartment proposals approved on appeal by inspectors despite twice being refused

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

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Plans to build retirement housing in a Flintshire village have been approved on appeal despite being thrown out by councillors twice in the space of a year.

The application to create 36 apartments for over-55s in Penyffordd was most recently turned down at a meeting last September amid concerns about the amount of new properties being constructed in the area.

The scheme on Rhos Road was originally dismissed in the autumn of 2018, but the man behind the proposals appealed at the start of this year in a fresh bid to get them passed.

The decision by Flintshire Council’s planning committee to deny permission to Richard Heaton has now been overturned.

It comes after a planning inspector appointed by the Welsh Government agreed with him that there was a need for elderly housing in the village.

In his decision notice, Tony Thickett said: “The council does not dispute the appellant’s assertion that Penyffordd’s Place Plan identifies a need to provide housing to enable the elderly to move to and remain in the village.

“Nor do the council dispute that the appellant has already carried out a significant amount of preparatory work, that the site is free from constraints, a developer is lined up and a reserved matters application could be submitted within six to nine months of outline planning permission being granted.

“In light of this I do not share the council’s pessimism and am persuaded by the appellant’s evidence that work could start on site by or around the projected adoption date for the LDP (Local Development Plan).

“I will amend the standard time limit conditions to reflect this and the need to secure delivery.”

At September’s meeting, planning committee members unanimously backed the recommendation of officers to refuse the scheme.

It came after reservations were raised over the impact of the 261 houses which have been approved on appeal across several sites in the village.

Addressing her colleagues, Penyffordd councillor Cindy Hinds said the local infrastructure would not be able to cope with any more.

But Mr Thickett said he had seen no evidence to support such claims.

He said: “I have considered the concerns of local residents with regard to the ability of local services and infrastructure to accommodate the development recently permitted in Penyffordd.

“The council is satisfied that the highway network and drainage systems are capable of accommodating the development.

“The impact of the proposed development on other services is not cited as a reason for refusal and I am entitled to assume, therefore, that the council does not consider that residents’ concerns warrant the withholding of planning permission.

“I have seen no empirical evidence to lead me to a different conclusion.”

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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