Controversial Plans for 14 New Homes on Former Gronant Village Hall Site Approved Despite Opposition
CONTROVERSIAL plans to create 14 new homes on the site of a former village hall in Gronant have been given the green light despite opposition.
An application to redevelop the Gronant Institute site on Llanasa Road was discussed by councillors in Flintshire yesterday (Wednesday, February 7).
The proposals by EMW Developments will result in the creation of a mixture of eleven apartments and town houses by converting and extending the original building.
Meanwhile, three further new-build properties will be constructed on the car park of the old hall, which was gifted to the village by Liverpool shipbuilder and Gronant native Richard Hughes.
A total of 89 letters of objection were submitted against the development ahead of the meeting of Flintshire Council’s planning committee, along with a petition signed by 91 people.
The main concerns raised were around poor parking and access arrangements and a loss of privacy for neighbours.
Nearby residents have traditionally parked on the Gronant Institute car park as part a verbal agreement with the hall’s former owners.
However, that ended when the building was sold and closed to the public, reportedly causing parking problems on surrounding roads.
Local resident Sian Humphreys told the committee: “It’s been empty for well over a year and residents have struggled to find anywhere to park.
“I think that’s just quite inconsiderate and it’s already had an impact in terms of family friends being unable to come visit me because there’s nowhere to park. That’s the same for everyone in the village.
“My car has been damaged in the village because of the narrow space that you’ve heard about on the roads.”
She added: “There are numerous cases of emergency vehicles not being able to get through this lane already, including an ambulance which needed to get to somebody critically.
“I think this proposal and using this access road will impact on the safety of everyone in the village.”
A report by Flintshire’s chief planning officer Andrew Farrow recommended the proposals should be approved.
The council’s highways department raised no objections to the application in light of the building’s previous use as a village hall.
However, officers said the developer would be required to enter into a section 106 legal agreement to create a management company to maintain the site’s internal roads and footpaths.
Committee member Bernie Attridge said he was satisfied with the access arrangements after councillors paid a visit to the site earlier in the week.
Planning cabinet member Chris Bithell also backed the scheme as he said it would help preserve a historic building.
He said: “This is a substantial and imposing building of local historical significance and it’s also a very valued building.
“We’re now in a position where it’s no longer needed and it’s redundant.
“We’re faced with a situation where it will become dilapidated, it will go into decay and become a nuisance to local people.
“A new use for the building needs to be found and this proposal has come forward for the conversion of this building into housing units.”
Councillors were told a war memorial located at the site would be kept in place.
The proposals were approved by twelve votes to four at the end of the debate subject to a requirement for 15 per cent of the properties to be allocated as affordable housing.
The developer will also need to agree to pay more than £11,000 to improve play facilities in Gronant before the scheme can go ahead.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter
Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email firstname.lastname@example.org