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Officer won't back Guilsfield homes plan

Created on 13/07/2020 @ 15:06
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Listed buildings in the middle of Guilsfield could be affected by plans to build nine affordable homes there, a council officer has warned.

An outline planning application has been submitted by Bradley’s properties to develop the former Fairview garage.

A report by Powys County Council’s built heritage officer, Debra Lewis, says that the proposals could have an effect on nearby listed buildings, especially the Grade I and II listed St Aelhaiarn church.

She believes that having buildings that could be up to nine metres tall could detract from the area.

Ms Lewis, said: “The site has the potential to significantly harm the setting of the conservation area or listed buildings by inappropriate development.”

But, development in keeping with the surroundings could also “positively contribute towards the setting of listed buildings”.

Ms Lewis added: “Whilst supportive of the principle of sympathetic development on the site, I am unable to support the application in its current form.”

Plans for development on the site have a history of running into opposition. An application to build a housing estate at the site had been lodged with planners but was withdrawn in February 2019.

Guilsfield Community Council had objected to it, indicating that other sites could be developed and that 100 new homes could be built on the village in the near future, arguing that the former garage should be kept for commercial use.

Powys County Councillor for Guilsfield, David Jones, has already said that he wants to “call in” the application to be heard by a planning committee.

According to the plans, three types of homes could be built there, they are:

·      Three – Three Bedroom

·      Two – Two Bedroom

·      Four – One Bedroom

Provision for 17 car parking spaces would also be made.

Documents lodged for the scheme, show that the applicants are willing to have the former garage become a 100 per-cent affordable home site.

In a planning statement supporting the application, Hughes Architects explains: “While the site is not allocated for housing it is located wholly within the development boundary of Guilsfield.

“Our clients are prepared to negotiate for the whole site to be made available as affordable housing and which would comply with the spirit of an exceptions site policy.”

Under the current policy 10% of the development would need to be affordable homes which is less than one of the nine homes in the application.

By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

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