The housebuilder has been given the all-clear to advance 102 affordable homes in Prestatyn, securing a narrow victory at planning committee.
The proposals for an 8-5-acre site adjacent to Alexandra Drive, currently used for grazing, were examined at Denbighshire Council’s planning committee yesterday.
Although recommended for approval, the plans were met by fervent opposition, and only won by nine votes to seven.
Barton Willmore is the planning consultant on the scheme for Castle Green, formerly known as Macbryde. The plans represent a resubmission of an application for 114 homes, a mix of market and affordable housing, submitted in 2019 before being withdrawn in May 2020.
Stuart Andrew, design and planning director for Castle Green, told Place North West: “Prestatyn is the one community in Denbighshire established as having the highest level of affordable housing need, and this scheme will allow Castle Green Homes, in partnership with Adra, to offer over a hundred local families the opportunity of a new affordable home built to the latest building regulations and DQR standards.
“Despite objection from some local political figures we’re delighted that the council’s planning committee have approved this scheme, accepting that there is pressing need, both in Denbighshire and across Wales, for the delivery of affordable housing.”
Planning officers had recommended approval largely because although not included in the LDP, the proposals sit largely within the Welsh Government’s Future Wales plan, representing affordable housing in a sustainable location.
Opposition came most strongly from ward councillor Cllr Bob Murray, who stated that the site should be treated as protected pasture land, adding that its absence from the Local Development Plan should mean refusal, and that the site is required for run-off in an area already suffering drainage issues.
Cllr Murray concluded that “local services are at breaking point”.
According to the design & access statement prepared by Barton Willmore, much of the scheme has been reconfigured to allow the retention of important hedgerows through the site, a revamp that led to the scheme being reduced from 106 homes to 102.
The professional team also includes RSK and Ascerta.
The make-up of the proposals is for two- three- and four-bedroom houses, with nine of the mix being bungalows.
The DAS said: “As a North Wales based housebuilder, the applicant has extensive experience of the local housing market, and a strong record of delivery across Denbighshire, Conwy and Flintshire.
“The applicant has forged a number of partnerships with affordable housing providers, including as part of mixed tenure schemes and 100% affordable housing schemes.”
The plan is for 10% of the affordable housing to be secured through Section 106 and for 90% to be secured by planning condition, a mechanism that Macbryde said will help enable a registered social landlord to deliver a scheme promptly, rather than go through a grant funding process.
Noting that the site lay outside of the LDP’s allocations, Barton Willmore had argued in its DAS that “the LDP has persistently failed, year on year, to deliver the county’s housing requirement, and in particular its affordable housing needs,” noting a “significant and worrying shortage of affordable housing”.
Macbryde rebranded as Castle Green Homes following a management buyout completed in September last year.