Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd Community Council objects to the application for the following reasons:
1. The clear pattern of development in the village is for houses to face the road. The scheme must be redesigned to present a strong frontage to the existing road, rather than corners, dead-ends and utility buildings. The scheme will not integrate with the village by turning its side to it, and this integration is all the more important for affordable housing if the aim is to create mixed communities.
2. The proposed public open space should be integrated into the development. Locating the POS to the rear will not encourage natural surveillance and is simply poor design which has not been justified and should be refused. As shown, the location of the POS appears to be driven by an arbitrary line on a plan rather than by good design, and there is no sound urban design reason to suggest otherwise. It would be sensible to consider locating the POS at the front of the site and setting the houses back from the road, as this would mirror the situation opposite. The only other acceptable alternative would be to locate the POS centrally within the development.
3. The village does not currently have a play area, so to ensure that new and existing residents have access to such facilities the public open space should incorporate recreation facilities for all ages (e.g. a children’s play area). There are no such facilities in the village at present. Despite what the applicant says, there is absolutely no certainty that other developments capable of providing an equipped amenity area in the village will come forward.
4. The Community Council expects the development to be well-landscaped, incorporating new tree and hedge planting (native species). Front boundaries should comprise stone walls and/or hedges to be in keeping with local character.
5. The Community Council is pleased to note that the developer will fund management of public amenities provided in the proposed development.
6. The Community Council notes that Welsh Water Dwr Cymru has expressed concerns about the proximity of the site to the sewage treatment works and shares these concerns. Currently the treatment works are screened poorly by a row of unsightly conifers. We would like to see efforts made to screen the works from view and to ensure that residents are not unduly affected by odours.
7. The roads around the site, particularly those linking the site to the primary school and village centre, are not pedestrian-friendly and although the provision of a pavement along the site frontage is welcomed this will not be sufficient to ensure safe access to village amenities. The school in particular can only be accessed via a road with a derestricted speed limit. To address this problem the Community Council would like to see efforts made to provide additional pavement/footways and/or traffic calming. It is noted that the applicant describes the road as a ‘shared space’ but this is disingenuous. A simple absence of safe walking and cycling provision does not make a shared space.