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Concerns how Buckley extra care scheme could impact Tivoli

The Tivoli in Buckley (Pic: Google)

OBJECTIONS have been raised against plans to create a new care facility in Buckley amid concerns over how it will impact a historic music venue.

Haigh Developments Ltd applied to build an extra care scheme with up to 90 beds, along with 12 bungalows, next to the Tivoli in March 2019.

The venue’s owners previously expressed their opposition to the development as they said noise from the Grade II-listed former cinema could disturb elderly residents.

However, proposals for the site on Precinct Way have now been recommended to go ahead by a senior official at Flintshire Council, despite nine letters of objection being received.

In a report issued ahead of a meeting being held this week to discuss the scheme, chief planning officer Andrew Farrow said it would help to address a demand for accommodation for elderly people in the area.

He said: “Across Wales, all local authorities are projected to see an increase in people aged 65 or over, with large increases projected for people aged 75 or over.

“In Flintshire, it is projected that the number of people aged 65 plus will increase from 32,652 in 2018 to 42,297 by 2043.

“Current demand for extra care in Buckley is unknown as a waiting list would be opened when a scheme is developed.

“However, each of the existing schemes hold a list of people who have expressed an interest for accommodation and provides an indication of demand levels.

“Demand is also demonstrated via the need for over 55s and sheltered housing on the SARTH (Single Access Route to Housing) register.

Taken together it is shown that there is existing unmet demand.”

The council previously outlined ambitions for each of Flintshire’s main towns to have extra care schemes, with similar facilities already created in Flint, Mold, Shotton and Holywell.

It leaves Buckley as the only town in the county without such a development.

However, objectors have pointed to the cultural importance of the Tivoli, with the 1920s venue having hosted gigs by bands such as Oasis, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin.

In response, Mr Farrow said noise mitigation measures would have to be put forward before the development can begin.

He said: “The site for the proposed extra care facility lies close to a number of potentially noise generating uses, including the loading area of a retail store, and a nightclub/music venue.

“It is therefore necessary to both consider the impact of noise upon the development (and) also ensure that the new development would not impact negatively upon the established businesses and their ability to operate in the same way as they currently do.

“In consultation with environmental health officers from community and business protection, it is considered that an appropriate level of information has been received at this stage.

“But it would be necessary to impose a condition requiring full noise impact assessments at the detailed design stage.”

Mr Farrow said mitigation measures would need to be incorporated into the design of the building such as enhanced glazing.

He also said there would be “limited opportunities” for the facility to be built elsewhere in Buckley due to the size of the development.

He added: “This site is centrally located and therefore suitable for older people as well as those with learning and physical disabilities due to it being accessible for those with mobility problems and its proximity to local facilities.

“Social services will work closely with Clwyd Alyn and housing strategy to identify individuals who need accommodation and the related support as the scheme progresses.

A decision will be made on the application at a meeting of the local authority’s planning committee on Wednesday (February 7, 2024).”

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