New homes planned in Llandudno

A housing association’s £4 million plan to replace ageing sheltered accommodation with new state-of-the art homes has delighted tenants.

Cartrefi Conwy intend demolishing the 30 flats and bedsits at Llys Seiriol and the adjoining Llys Eryl in St Andrew’s Avenue, in Llandudno, because they’re “not fit for purpose”.

They say the tenants will benefit from much more modern and comfortable accommodation in the new development.

In the meantime, the residents will be found alternative accommodation while the work goes ahead.

Cartrefi Conwy believes the best way forward is to fully redevelop the existing blocks and replace them with a single development on the same site built to the highest and most modern standards.

The association says it believes this plan to be a better option than remodelling the existing blocks as it provides a higher standard of accommodation with improved living & lifestyle for tenants.

The proposed 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.

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

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

Each home is designed to be fully accessible for all tenants, with modern, wheelchair-accessible bathroom and fitted kitchen.

The plans – due to be considered by Council planners in July or August – also include a dedicated residents’ lounge on the first floor along with a community room on the ground floor.

Claire Shiland, Cartrefi Conwy’s Head of Neighbourhood Services, said the existing accommodation was not fit for purpose.

She explained that a number of new features in the development had been included at the request of its future residents.

She said: “We plan to incorporate guest bedrooms and Juliette balconies because our tenants have told us that is what they would like to see.

“People who may be opting to live in the new scheme have been consulted at every step of the way because we believe keeping them fully involved in the process is very important.

“During the consultation process we have explained to tenants that redevelopment of the two existing schemes at Llys Seiriol and Llys Eryl gives us the opportunity to provide brand new, purpose-built accommodation which fully meets the needs of older people in the county.”

According to Claire, the tenants would have to move out for the duration of the building works.

All the tenants had the choice of either moving temporarily into another Cartrefi Conwy property or relocating permanently to another of their sheltered accommodation schemes.

It was, she said, very much a matter of individual choice which Cartrefi Conwy had encouraged residents to think carefully about and to discuss it with family and friends.

In either case, Cartrefi Conwy would meet all costs associated with the move, such as removal, disconnection and reconnection of services and the alteration or provision of carpets.

She stressed: “We will ensure tenants are fully supported during their moves and that no tenant is left out of pocket by the modernisation scheme

Alf Davies, 93, who is Llandudno born and bred and served in the Royal Artillery during the Second World War, has lived at Llys Eryl for the past 17 years. A widower for the past 12 years, he has a one-bedroom flat on the ground floor.

Alf said: “After hearing all the details I’ve decided to go into temporary accommodation and then come back to the new scheme they are planning to build.

“I want to come back because I’ve been really happy here. I have made some good friends amongst my neighbours. Also, I wouldn’t like to leave Llandudno because it’s where I have always lived.

“At the meeting we were told that the new place would be very modern and have all the latest facilities and that the association will pay all the costs of moving out and back in.

“This is good news and I think we were all very happy to hear it.”

Also planning to move back to a new, modern flat on the same site is one of Alf Davies’s neighbours, 77-year-old Olwen Rowlands, a widow who has lived at Llys Eryl for the past 10 years.

She said: “I have said that I definitely want to come back to the new development after a temporary move somewhere else. It would be a brand new building with much better facilities.

“It also helps that Cartrefi Conwy is planning to pay all our costs for moving out and back again.

“I’ve been very happy at Llys Eryl because the neighbours are just like one big happy family. They all keep an eye out for each other and I wouldn’t want to leave them.

“I’m also glad they are planning to build the new homes in the same site because it’s so convenient for the town with a regular bus service.”

Among those who have decided to move away permanently is 71-year-old Keith Fuller, who has had a bed-sit in Llys Seiriol for the past six years.

He said: “Although I’ve enjoyed living here and would be quite happy to stay, I have been offered a one-bedroom flat with Cartrefi Conwy in Betws-y-Coed where I lived for 30 years.

“The flat, which I have been shown around, is certainly an improvement on what I have now, so it’s been arranged for me to move in sometime in the next few weeks when the carpets have been fitted.

“It’s good that the association is paying for all of this and I am very happy with the way things have turned out.”

In charge of the whole complex re-location process is the Senior Warden for Llys Seiriol and Llys Eryl, Nerys Velduizen, who said: “I’ll be keeping a close eye on tenant support during the entire period of moving out and moving back into the new development.

“Most of our tenants want to stay fairly local, so it’s a question of finding them suitable accommodation in the new development or at one of our other schemes in the area.

“The main part of my job is to provide support to tenants and I’ll be helping them with everyday things such as carpets and curtains to make the whole thing go as smoothly as possible. If they have a problem they can just come to me and I’ll help them sort it out.

“I have been with Cartrefi Conwy for quite a few years but I’ve never been involved in anything like this before. It’s quite a challenge but I’m looking forward to it very much.”

Brian Roberts, who is an independent board member of Cartrefi Conwy and Chairman of its Development Committee, said: “The planned new development is an opportunity to provide accommodation and services which go beyond the traditional expectations of sheltered housing.

“Benefits include a staff presence during the working day and 24 hour emergency responsive alarm service. “Facilities include a multi-purpose communal space with kitchen, dedicated lounge/lobby room for residents, mobility scooter storage, landscaped garden and patio area, dedicated on-site parking, guest room accommodation and a lift providing access to all floors.

“There will also be a busy programme of social activities and events and the planned new development is in a convenient location for town centre shops and transport links.”

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