Affordable homes will help safeguard a Welsh-speaking village in Conwy

Work has started on a new development of affordable homes in a largely Welsh-speaking village in the Conwy Valley.

Local residents and Aberconwy MP say the scheme by housing association Cartrefi Conwy will help safeguard the future of Penmachno – and the village school.

Cartrefi Conwy decided to press ahead with the development after a survey showed a clear need to meet local demand.

Six houses are being built on the site near Ysgol Penmachno – four three-bedroom properties and two two-bedroom properties.

The land at Maes-y-Waen was earmarked for housing by Snowdonia National Park Authority in their Local Development Plan.

A second phase would see a further six houses being built when a local need is demonstrated.

Villagers were updated on progress at a special drop-in session at the Ty’n y Porth Community Hall.

Among those who attended was father-of-one Mic Roberts who was brought up in Penmachno – and doesn’t want to live anywhere else.

Mr Roberts said: “I have one son and we have another child on the way.

“Personally, I think there’s a big need for a development like this to keep young families in the village so they don’t have to move away because they can’t afford to buy a house.

“Buying a house is so expensive and we live in an area where the wages are generally low.

“This will help keep the school open and ensure the future of the village.

“The house where we live at the moment has two bedrooms but the second bedroom is just a box room and there’s no room to swing a cat downstairs.

“We live right on the side of the road which is a worry.

“I am from the village and I don’t want to leave. I have got great friends here and you don’t have the problems here that you have in towns.

“I was raised here and I want to raise my children here.”

The scheme also met with the approval of Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb.

He said: “I am pleased the development is taking shape, especially as the consultation clearly listened to local opinion and that the development is meeting local need.

“The fact that affordable homes suitable for young families are being built is to be welcomed by local people and will generate more pupils for the village school.”

There was also support from Elfed Williams, the Clerk to the Community Council.

According to Mr Williams:”The most important thing for us is that these houses are going to be for local people.

“It’s a historic development in Penmachno because nothing has been built here for many years.

“We’re hoping these houses will help safeguard the future of the village school – it is difficult to sustain rural, Welsh speaking communities and we hope this development will help.

The level of support came as no surprise to Gwynne Jones, Cartrefi Conwy’s Operations Director.

Mr Jones said: “One of the aims of today’s event is to assure the community they will have the first bite of the cherry in relation to the first lets.

“There is a Section 106 agreement signed with Snowdonia National Park which states that priority will be given to people who have lived within the Bro Machno or adjoining community councils for a continuous period of five years, so there has to be a local connection.

“Penmachno is a large village, and it is important that people can stay in the communities that they were born and bred in.”

Mr Jones also revealed that the new homes will be built to sustainable code level 4 meaning that energy costs would be kept to a minimum thanks to the use of air source heat pumps and photovoltaic panels.

He added: “Hopefully the new tenants moving in will see savings on their fuel bills.

“We’re also putting sprinkler systems into the properties ahead of the expected legislation on this by the Welsh Government.

It was a proud day for Brian Roberts, Chair of Cartrefi Conwy’s Development Committee.

He said: “This is a historic day for Cartrefi Conwy in the sense that this is our first housing development.

“There are other developments in the pipeline we are aiming to build 100 new homes over the next five years.”

Related Posts with Thumbnails