Two local councillors that represent the Denbigh area have stepped in to object to initial plans for hundreds of new private homes. The once-farming land located alongside Ysgol Pendref Primary School in Denbigh, which is worth over £1 million, was all set to be sold by Denbighshire Council for around 100 new properties having deemed the land “surplus to requirements”.
However, Plaid Cymru councillor Glenn Swingler of the Denbigh Upper/Henllan ward, objected to the proposals. Cllr Swingler called in the decision of the authority’s cabinet, urging them to reassess their decision. Fellow Plaid Cymru councillor and group leader Rhys Thomas of the Denbigh Lower ward went further still to demonstrate that the demand for the scale of housing proposed did not exist.
Councillors question whether the proposals meet the needs of the local community
Cllr Thomas questioned whether the latest proposal for 100 homes was “directed at people who live locally” in the town. Mr Thomas pointed to the additional 300+ properties that are already in the process of planning or construction and stated the vast majority are “way, way out of the reach” of existing Denbigh residents.
The seven-acre site near Ysgol Pendref Primary School is by no means a small development project. The construction of 100 new homes is a substantial financial undertaking by most property developers’ standards. Making the right financial choices for such projects is tough when there are so many ways to fund them. Platforms like Funding Options are increasingly providing clarity for developers, as well as direct access to alternative development finance options to pay for ground-up developments like the one proposed in west Denbigh.
Denbighshire’s LDP is seemingly at odds with its current planned or active development projects
Cllr Thomas pointed to the new Local Development Plan (LDP) for the county of Denbighshire which claims that the region will require “80 new homes in the whole county” annually. Thomas says that the current projects in the Denbigh area equate to “434 houses in one community”, including 380 properties “in one ward”. He, therefore, insists that these proposals are unlikely to benefit local residents given that the Welsh government labels the region as having “the greatest deprivation” in the country.
Cllr Swingler supports Mr Thomas’ view and fears that the council’s cabinet were merely looking to sell “publicly owned land to the highest bidder”, resulting in developments of “unaffordable houses” for local people. Mr Swingler says that the overall plan is “not in the interests” of the town and its community and a cabinet decision to review the decision should be called for.
It could be argued that Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council is also likely to experience a similar backlash from local councillors after Bellway Wales published detailed plans for a new 95-home housing development in Church Village, Llantwit Fardre. Outline planning permission for the project was granted back in May, with Billie Oaten, sales director for Bellway Wales claiming a “real demand” for new housing in Llantwit Fardre – a village with an approximate population of only 6,500. A positive decision for the proposals in Mid Glamorgan could set a precedent for Denbighshire Council to follow.