Plans to build 20 affordable homes in Harlech have been approved, despite flooding concerns.
Eryri National Park Authority’s planning committee granted permission for the development at land adjoining Pen yr Hwylfa in Harlech when it met on 6 September.
The application, submitted by Williams Homes (Bala) Ltd, includes plans for four apartments, two bungalows and 14 houses.
The site is adjacent to the A496, on the northern edge of Harlech, opposite the Tŷ Canol estate. A planning officer said the homes “fitted in well” with the semi rural area.
Two letters of objection were submitted because of “concern over the drainage, that the system is already overloaded” and that “dwellings should be available to local people in need”. Harlech Community Council said it supported the scheme “in principle”, but some members objected due to the “increased pressure on the sewage and water systems”.
Gwynedd Archaeological Planning Service has spoken of “archaeological implications” and had recommended a “limited programme of mitigation”. Cadw said the homes would only “slightly extend the built area” of Harlech, and the “slight visual impact will not have any effect on the way that the Harlech Castle and the World Heritage Site experience”.
The scheme was considered “acceptable subject to conditions” by officers and the applicant agreed to sign an agreement keeping the housing for locals. The project, which falls within the Harlech Development Plan, also includes the formation of a new vehicular and pedestrian access, and a new length of pedestrian footway linking the existing pedestrian network, plus internal access road, with parking areas. It was “designed to meet evidenced local needs for affordable dwellings”, the meeting heard.
An assessment of flood consequences had been submitted and it was “demonstrated that there were no flood consequences,” an officer stated. Construction would include “a surface water drainage system and a connection to the foul sewer”.
Agent Jamie Bradshaw said it was “an entirely affordable development”. He said: “It exceeds the required 33 percent affordable homes provision by a considerable amount, providing 20 homes rather than 7.3, sought by policy.”
The mix of homes was “carefully considered” and housing figures provided had shown 156 households on the housing register. This was “an exceptionally high need,” he said.
Dŵr Cymru were “taking review” of the sewer capacity situation.
He added: “The current national flooding policy shows the site is flood free, but the draft national policy shows the site is of a higher risk. You only need to take account of the current document.”
Chairman Cllr Annwen Hughes supported the homes “100 percent” saying there was “a real need” for this type of housing in Harlech. “I would be glad to see this development come to fruition,” she said.
Cllr Edgar Wyn Owen added his support, whilst querying the meaning of the consultation comments from Harlech Community Council, asking why they only agreed “in principle”.
The planning officer replied that people felt there were problems with sewage but said the matter had been “addressed”.