The Flintshire planning officers are recommending 'Approval' when the application for 32 houses goes to planning committee next week. The planning officers' assessment is based on 'planning considerations' and strangely contradicts much of what was said by the planning officer when recommending refusal of the Redrow application in April.
The planning officer who has made the recommendation is apparently on holiday next week and with the very short notice of the committee our County Councillors have requested that the application is removed from the agenda. If that is not successful, then we need a show of force from the village to demonstrate the strength of feeling in the community.
165 public objections were received and 4 letters in support. These were the words of the Head of Lifelong Learning (schools) in the planning report:
"Advises that insufficient capacity would result from the proposals at the local primary school (Penyffordd C.P School) Advises that the nearest Secondary School is Castell Alun High School, which has insufficient capacity and would therefore be affected by the proposals." The solution to these comments is to recommend that payment of funds to the schools.
The concern is that a precedent will be set ahead of the planning inspector's inquiry into the Redrow application - the possible outcome is that Hawarden Road is approved AND it adds to the possibility that the Redrow appeal is successful.
This will be the first time that planning have recommended approval on an application OUTSIDE a settlement boundary in Penyffordd and we believe anywhere in Flintshire. In previous cases they have recommended refusal in Mynydd Isa and elsewhere and then lost on appeal.
Penyffordd remains Flintshire's highest growth settlement.
You can read the full officers report here >>>
We do need houses in Penyffordd
The reality is that there is a need for some new houses in Penyffordd - no one is suggesting that we should block all future growth.
Welsh Government policy assumes that County Councils prepare a plan for the housing that is need, of what type and where it should be built - that plan is done in consultation with statutory bodies, like water, health, schools etc. and with the public. It is only because Flintshire have not got their plan ready in time that these ad-hoc proposals are allowed at all.
In addition to the 4 active applications (Redrow Chester Road, Hawarden Road, Rhos Road north and south), the Council themselves are planning affordable or council houses in both Penyffordd and Dobshill.
The Community Place Plan sets out plans for up to 10% growth, between now and 2030 and describes the type of housing needed by the community, including affordable homes and those suitable for first time buyers and the elderly.
We believe that with the policy clarification received from Lesley Griffith AC/AM, Welsh Minister responsible for planning, the body of objection from the community, the evidence provided via the Questionnaire and Place Plan, that Flintshire County Council had sufficient weight to overturn the technicality presented by the lack of a 5-year housing land supply in Flintshire (the reason given for recommending approval).
Please show your support by attending the Committee next Wednesday 1:00pm at County Hall - they ran out of seats for us in April!