ISLAND planners permitted 29 ‘affordable’ homes to be built in Anglesey village – despite concerns over a primary school’s capacity. It also missed out on an education contribution of £60,000.
An assessment into the number of pupils at Bodedern Primary School at the beginning of the Clwyd Alyn’s housing application meant it didn’t qualify.
But £18,469 would go to Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern and £5,557.94 for village play areas.
Clwyd Alyn’s agents Cadnant Planning did offer to make a voluntary contribution to the primary school to buy IT or other equipment.
The matter arose during an Anglesey County Council planning and orders committee meeting on Wednesday, January 1,
Councillor Ken Taylor, a school governor had called the matter in.
He argued the school should have been entitled, citing it had more pupils than originally stated, and questioned the methodology and timing of the assessment in the planning process.
Education contributions are created to meet the needs in schools caused by new housing developments.
“A total of 12 primary age pupils would result from the development which would take the capacity of the school, assessed as 90, to 102,” the meeting heard.
But Cllr Taylor argued there were 96, adding: “Plus it would gain an estimated 12, from the new development, bringing capacity to 108, not 103. It would have qualified for £12,250 per child.”
The plans included creating new vehicular access, an internal access road, and associated works at Tre Angharad.
It will see the erection of 12, two-bed semi-detached houses, 12, three-bed semis, four, two -bed terraced houses, and one three-bed bungalow.
Rhys Davies, Cadnant Planning agent said the site was within the Anglesey and Gwynedd Joint Local Development Plan. It already had outline planning permission for 30 dwellings, now reduced to 29.
Clwyd Alyn had “analysed” housing needs, some would be for sale, others for rent, some transferred back to the council’s housing stock.
The were no objections and “Bodedern people were eager to see affordable homes developed.” he said.
He added: “The education department had no concerns, it did not call for a contribution to be made to the primary school.”
Clwyd Alyn had discussed the concerns and would be “happy” to speak with the school so “local benefits could be ensured,” such as buying IT equipment.
It was “important” the matter was not deferred,” he said, due to a “substantial grant” being dependent on work starting before the end of the financial year.
Cllr Taylor was not against the development and “welcomed affordable homes”.
It was the “time lapse” in the planning process that had caused the issue.
“I was going to ask it could be deferred, if that is not possible, I hope you are going to contact the head.”
Cllr Robin Wyn Jones proposed permitting the application, seconded by Councillor Jackie Lewis. The scheme was unanimously accepted in a vote.
After the meeting Cllr Taylor said he “had a duty” to call the matter in.
He added: “It was disappointing, they missed out on £60,000. I feel I let the school down. The process is not perfect, but it is just how it is done. I think school assessments should be done later on in the planing process.” They should have communicated with the head, as a matter courtesy. I am satisfied with assurances they will provide items the school needs and will speak to the head.”