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Green light for £1.3m Withy Beds revamp

Created on 21/09/2010 @ 15:42
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Plans were approved today (Tuesday) for rebuilding the Withy Beds to provide safe and healthy housing for the travelling community for the next 30 years.
The project was given the green light by Powys County Council planners, allowing the £1.3m project to commence in the coming weeks.
Funding for the work will come in the form of a £970,696 Welsh Assembly Government grant with the camp’s weekly rents to increase from £35 to £60 to cover Powys County Council’s contribution for the remainder.
The 13-page planning recommendation highlighted that the current state of the camp made it near inhabitable and that the work, while not only providing new housing, would also enhance the area as a whole with bird and bat boxes put up to encourage habitation.
The report stated: “The proposals will improve the sustainability of the Withy Beds for a 30-year period by improving the living standards and quality of a site which has previously been regarded as an undesirable place to live. Furthermore, they will ensure that a recognised ethnic group is treated fairly and with dignity both within policy and in compliance with the Race Relations Act and other legislation.”
Created in 1980 as a gypsy and traveler camp, the Withy Beds has fallen into disrepair with annual rents amassing to just £16,000 per year. The new hikes will see the council collect £28,000 annually from its residents.
The project will see the current site completely cleared and replaced with five semi-detached amenity buildings; 10 replacement caravan pitches; new vehicle access; parking and turning areas as well as general beautification works. The refurbishment is expected to take place over three phases.

 No date was provided on when the work is expected to be finished.

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