Ceredigion has seen the largest percentage decrease in the number of children living in it of any authority in Wales, a planning application for a new shop and flat by a senior councillor has said.

New Quay and Llanllwchaearn county councillor, and Cabinet Member for Partnerships, Housing, Legal and Governance and Public Protection Cllr Matthew Vaux applied for the demolition of the Parc Y Pant produce shop at Cross Inn, near New Quay, with a replacement shop and a first floor two-bedroom open market flat.

A report for planners said the existing single-storey metal sheeting building is suffering from rust and general wear, and it is proposed that, along with the new build, the flat is rented on the open market.

A Community and Linguistic Impact Assessment was submitted in support of the application, stating that, in Ceredigion, the population size has decreased by 5.8 per cent from around 75,900 in 2011 to 71,500 in 2021, against a Wales-wide growth of 1.4 per cent, with Ceredigion the second least densely populated of Wales’ 22 local authority areas.

It adds that Ceredigion has seen the largest percentage decrease in children aged under 16 of any of the 22 authorities in Wales, seeing an increase of 17.2 per cent in people aged 65 years and over, a decrease of 12.2 per cent in people aged 15 to 64 years and a decrease of 10.1 per cent in children aged under 15.

A supporting statement, made through agent Morgan & Flynn Architectural Services said: “…whilst planning permission is required for the new replacement building in this case, there is no need for planning permission for the flat above as this is permitted development.

“The proposed flat will be capable of accommodating a small family as it will have two bedrooms and bathrooms, Ysgol Bro Sion Cwilt and Cei Newydd are both located within a short journey from the site.

“Therefore, if the flat is occupied by a family with a child, he/she will grow up to learn and use the language and be taught through the medium of Welsh in their local primary and secondary school.”

The application says the proposal for a flat above the shop will not result in a significant or detrimental impact on the community or the Welsh Language.

“It is hoped that the development will enhance the Welsh Language and provide a home for Welsh-speaking people,” the application added.

The application was conditionally approved at a recent planning committee, with a final thumbs-up on associated conditions signed off last week.