Plans for 22 new homes at former site of bowls hall welcomed
COUNCILLORS have welcomed plans to build 22 affordable homes at the site of a former bowls hall in Abertillery.
The proposal was before Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Planning Committee on Thursday, January 11.
Melin Homes wants to build 14 one-bedroom flats, four two-bedroom flats, three two-bedroom houses, and one two-bedroom bungalow with the necessary access, engineering, and associated works at the site.
The bowls hall was demolished around six years ago.
As part of the proposal the council’s leisure service has asked that Melin Homes pay £39,920.
This would be used to improve play, sport and recreational facilities and infrastructure at Six Bells Park which is near the development site.
Melin Homes have agreed to enter a section 106 agreement to pay this sum.
In her report planning development team manager Steph Hopkins explained that a condition would be added to the planning consent to ensure that 10 per cent of the development would remain affordable homes “in perpetuity.”
Mrs Hopkins went on to recommend that councillors approve the application.
Cllr Wayne Hodgins said: “The social housing development is really good news for the lower Ebbw Fach valley.”
Cllr Julie Holt, who represents the ward, was allowed to speak at the meeting, but under committee rules was not allowed to vote on the scheme.
Cllr Holt said: “Everybody in Abertillery, and indeed Six Bells, is waiting for these houses to go on this site, everyone is supportive.
“The only concern raised with me is the asbestos question, which was to do with the old leisure centre.
“I wonder if someone could confirm that there is no question with asbestos contamination (there).”
Committee chairwoman Cllr Lisa Winnett said work was already under way to investigate the site for asbestos contamination.
Cllr George Humphreys said: “It looks fantastic, my only concern is that the section 106 agreement is honoured.”
Mrs Hopkins stressed that the agreement was legally binding and that the “only way” Melin Homes could come out of it is if the payment would jeopardise the viability of the development.
Mrs Hopkins said: “When we issue the planning permission, they are bound to pay that money they have agreed.”
If this situation change Mrs Hopkins added that “any changes” to the section 106 agreement would need to be brought back to the committee.
The committee went ahead and voted to unanimously in favour of the application.