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16 affordable homes plan at former Gungrog primary school site approved

16 council houses could be built at the former Gungrog school site in Welshpool (Pic: Elgan Hearn - Local Democracy Reporting Service)

PLANS for 16 affordable homes in Welshpool have been given the green light.

But there are no guarantees that all properties will remain “affordable homes” forever.

At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Planning, Taxi Licensing and Rights of Way committee on Thursday, June 27 councillors received an application from the council itself for the redevelopment of the former Gungrog school site in the town.

The application was for the demolition of the school building to make way for the affordable homes which will be made up of 12 one bedroom bungalows and four two bedroom bungalows.

How the affordable homes at the former Gungrog school site in Welshpool could look (Pic: Powys County Council)

Senior planning officer Lorraine Jenkin said: “It’s been brought to committee as this is a major application and the land is owned by Powys County Council.”

Ms Jenkin told councillors that former school had been broken into was starting to look “tatty” and is becoming a problem for the area.

Ms Jenkins explained that a condition would be added to the planning permission to set aside which houses would be “officially designated” as official affordable housing “in perpetuity” even though “in reality” they all would be.

The policy for this part of Powys means that only 20 per cent of the site needed to be affordable homes.

Ms Jenkin recommended that council’s approve the application.

Committee solicitor Rachel Mole told councillors that she had reviewed the file and confirmed that the application had been processed “appropriately.”

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How the affordable homes at the former Gungrog school site in Welshpool could look (Pic: Powys County Council)

Cllr Gareth E Jones said: “Could the committee actually put a condition that all 16 are affordable long term?”

Ms Jenkin said: “I don’t think we should do that the policy only requires 20 per cent.

Cll Angela Davies said: “It appears to be a very good use of the site.”

Councillors went on to vote unanimously to approve the application.

How the affordable homes at the former Gungrog school site in Welshpool could look (Pic: Powys County Council)

In April last year the former Gungrog Church in Wales Infant and Nursery school site was transferred to the council’s housing department.

The council had said last year that there is a: “clear, identified need for affordable, social rented properties.

There were 525 applicants on the housing list who wanted affordable rented accommodation in Welshpool.

The school had been empty since 2017 as new school buildings was built in Welshpool.

Children were moved elsewhere before eventually the new Welshpool Church in Wales school building was opened in January 2021.

Up to the end of June last year the school had been used as by Powys Teaching Health Board as a Covid-19 vaccination and testing centre.

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