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Controversial housing estate plans refused due to noise concerns

Land by the A4138, Dafen, Llanelli, where plans for 145 homes have been turned down (Pic: Google Maps)

CONTROVERSIAL plans for a new estate on the outskirts of Llanelli have been turned down, partly because people living in some of the houses would need to keep their windows closed to avoid noise from a steel company and road.

Persimmon Homes West Wales applied to build 145 homes, including a small number of flats, by the A4138 in Dafen. But the site’s proximity to the road and to Dyfed Steels Ltd the other side of it was a concern for Carmarthenshire Council’s planning department.

Persimmon Homes said the layout of the estate, which would include 29 affordable homes, had been influenced by noise considerations among other things. It had commissioned an acoustic report which found that some operations at Dyfed Steels, such as clattering from the movement of steel objects and occasional beeps from forklift trucks, were audible at night but not during the day because of a higher level of day-time traffic on the A4138.

Persimmon Homes said properties on the west side of the estate facing the road and Dyfed Steels would feature acoustic glazing, and what’s known as mechanical ventilation to help circulate air. But controlling the noise would rely on the windows being closed, and in this turn could create overheating issues during hot weather. The acoustic report also said two of the gardens would experience noise levels “marginally above” the recommended guidance.

Council planning officers said the need for windows on properties closest to the road and steel company to remain closed to avoid “unacceptable” noise levels would result in uncomfortable and oppressive living conditions. They also said flats planned at the southern edge of the estate could be disturbed by noise from a nearby industrial trade park.

There were two other grounds for refusal – the absence of a bat survey of all existing trees at the five-hectare plot of land, and Persimmon Homes not entering a formal planning agreement with the council to secure affordable housing and education contributions.

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Objectors to the application included Llanelli Rural Council. It expressed traffic, drainage and biodiversity concerns, although it acknowledged that the land had been earmarked for residential development by the county council.

Persimmon Homes said it was disappointed by the refusal. A spokesman for the company said the scheme would have included a park and play area and a £185,000 education contribution, as well as the 29 affordable homes.

“In light of the council’s decision, we will now take time to consider our next steps as we seek to deliver quality new homes for local people in Dafen,” he said.