Llandudno tenants have their say on Cartrefi Conwy housing scheme

Residents are being given a say on what community facilities and events they’d like to see in a new million state-of-the-art new development in Llandudno.

Housing association Cartrefi Conwy is aiming to replace its two ageing sheltered housing schemes in the town’s St Andrews’s Avenue – Llys Seiriol and the adjoining Llys Eryl – with 30 new homes built to the most modern standards, on the same site.

A key feature of the new development will be a community hub area where residents can go to mingle with friends and enjoy a range of leisure activities.

The ambitious scheme is currently going through the local council planning process and tenants of the two older developments, along with local residents who will also be able to use the hub, were recently invited along to a community centre in the area to be briefed on the plan’s progress.

They were also asked for their suggestions on a suitable name for the new development.

The meeting, which was hosted by members of the Cartrefi Conwy team in the Trinity Centre, took the form of an informal Christmas celebration, and a total of about 33 residents enjoyed a buffet lunch, a raffle with a host of great prizes, a music quiz and had the chance to have their pictures taken, free of charge, to appear on their own personal Christmas cards.

Cartrefi Conwy formulated the rebuilding because Llys Seiriol and Llys Eryl, which are both around 50 years old, do not meet Welsh Government housing quality standards.

The association believes the best way forward is to demolish both blocks and replace them with a single development.

The new development, designed by award-winning architects, would feature a total of 30 new homes, including a diverse mix of 26 apartments, of one and two bedrooms, plus four houses, two with two bedrooms and two with three bedrooms.

Fronting on to St Andrew’s Avenue and designed to give the outward appearance of a row of traditional terraced houses, the development would have ground, first and second floor levels, with the upper floors being served by a lift – something which the existing blocks do not have.

It would be surrounded by landscaped gardens and have parking areas reserved for tenants and their guests.

Each home is designed to be fully accessible for disabled tenants, with a modern bathroom and fitted kitchen.

Existing tenants have been given the option of signing up for a place in the new development and moving into temporary accommodation until it is ready or transferring to other Cartrefi Conwy housing schemes.

A sizeable number have opted for the new development and at the briefing session were delighted to hear from Cartrefi Conwy’s housing project manager Eiry Davies about what progress is being made on the scheme which will become their new home.

She explained to them that the full planning application for the scheme was submitted to Conwy Council in October.

If the blueprint gets the go-ahead work will start on site early next year with completion of the project expected in May of 2015.

Eiry also told tenants the association was keen to have the views – not just of the people who will eventually live there but also of residents of seven or eight neighbouring Cartrefi Conwy housing schemes – on the facilities the hub should include, and a possible name for the whole development.

She said: “We want the hub to be a place where everyone can come together, enjoy meeting friends and using the facilities.”

People at the meeting were given slips of paper on which they were able to jot down their suggestions, and these were taken away for assessment.

Nerys Veldhuizen, the association’s older person’s engagement co-ordinator, said later: “People came up with all sorts of interesting suggestions for activities and events they’d like to see taking place in the community hub.

“These included everything from armchair aerobics and a book club to music and luncheon clubs.

“It was great to have residents’ input and we’ll now look very carefully at all their ideas.”

Tenants who were at the meeting said they were glad to have been updated on the new development and to be given the chance of having a say in what the community hub will have to offer.

Among them was 54-year-old Linda Mullin who lives in the Cartrefi Conwy sheltered scheme in St Andrew’s Avenue.

She said: “Because I only moved into my flat in May and don’t live in either of the two blocks affected by the new development, I hadn’t really heard much about it, so it was very useful to have the briefing meeting.

“As I’m looking forward very much to using the community hub it was also good to be given the opportunity to have a say on what things should be on offer there.

“The kind of activities I’d like to see is bingo, tea dances and line dances, which are all very popular with people.”

Olwyn Rowlands, 78, who has already left Llys Eryl and gone into temporary accommodation nearby until she can move into the new development, said: “I was very glad to have been invited to the meeting to hear all about what’s happening with the new building. It’s nice to be kept abreast of what’s going on.

“I’m looking forward to moving in to a smart new flat and of having use of the community hub.

“What I’d like to see included in it is a computer room because I like to use a laptop to keep in touch with people and to see what is happening in the world. I love dancing and so I’d also like to see us have ballroom and line dancing and maybe even some karaoke sessions.”

Martin Stallard, 60, who lives in the Cartrefi scheme in Norman Road, close to the where the new development will be built, said: “I think it’s very good that it will have a community hub which everyone can use, not just the people who live there.

“I’ve suggested it would be nice to have coffee mornings where everyone can get together and, as I’m a real fan, I’d also like to see soul music sessions.”

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