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Desperate need for housing land in Welshpool

Created on 17/04/2019 @ 19:53
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Land to build homes on in Welshpool is like gold dust.

At a meeting of the Health, Care and Housing Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday, councillors were told that both Affordable Homes and Extra Care schemes were needed in the town

An Extra Care scheme is being discussed for Neuadd Maldwyn while it’s possible that the school buildings, Ardwyn, Gungrog and Oldford, would be sites for redevelopment in the future.

This is after the new Church in Wales Primary School next to Welshpool High School is completed and redeveloping the former Maesydre school to become the home of the Welsh medium primary school, Ysgol Gymraeg Y Trallwng is completed.

Cllr Phil Pritchard (Independent – Welshpool Oldford), said: “I don’t really believe that Neuadd Maldwyn will be the answer to our prayers.

“It’s a good scheme for the over 55s, but the bigger need in Welshpool is to have one bedroom accommodation for younger people. And Neuadd Maldwyn is not even going to touch that.

“It’s all very well saying that we’re going to build this or that but if not going to satisfy the need, there’s a big question.

“There are three school (buildings) that will become redundant over the next 12 months in Welshpool.

“They are the only sites in Welshpool that we will see for the next 100 years at least – unless the whole lot floods and we end up on the mountains.

“If we don’t reserve those sites for housing and particular social housing, not for a developer to make big bucks out of, then we will miss a big opportunity.”

“I sincerely hope that education is talking to housing who’s talking about property.”

Service manager housing solutions, Dafydd Evans, replied: “Welshpool has a number of different needs. There is a high need for extra care housing that’s been identified.

“Presentations of homelessness in Welshpool are some of the highest in the county There are a lot of people on the waiting list for housing in Welshpool.

“I can assure you we have put our names down for the sites you (Cllr Phil Pritchard) identified, but there are a lot of needs that the Council has to address.

“As a housing officer I would say housing needs to come first.

“But I appreciate other services have needs, there are some difficult decision to be made.

“As a housing service we are making it very clear there’s a real demand for housing in Welshpool.”

Affordable homes officer, Terry Flynn, added: “Mid-Wales Housing (social housing association) has been allocated nearly £7 million and a fairly large chunk of that is going in to two sites in Welshpool.

“We are trying to address not only the number but the type of need.”

The discussion was part of a briefing on where the Housing Service stands in it’s proposals to develop 250 affordable homes in the county by 2023.

The development programme will be taken in front of the Cabinet for approval and comments from the scrutiny meeting will be included.

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