Planning has been unanimously approved for 32 eco-friendly homes to be built in Burry Port following a £6million funding package secured by Cartrefi Croeso.
Plans were given the thumbs up by Carmarthenshire County Council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday, February 19, meaning the build could start as early as Spring.
The Welsh Government included the ambitious Burry Port Garden Village development in its £43million Innovative Housing Programme grant, announced by Housing and Regeneration Minister Rebecca Evans on October 16, 2018.
The proposed scheme will create 22 two-bedroom family homes and 10 one-bedroom apartments on land next to the existing Plas Y Mor Extra Care Scheme in the town.
Exciting designs have been drawn up with environmentally-friendly features including solar panels and Welsh timber, both sourced and manufactured locally, that will help residents save up to £1,000 a year on energy bills.
They will be low maintenance by design, with open plan living space that can be easily adapted to reflect the changing needs of residents.
Cartrefi Croeso was established by Carmarthenshire Council in 2017 to open up new opportunities for hundreds of affordable homes to be built outside the boundaries of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), which limits investment to social housing.
Providing greater freedom to build homes, the company’s main aim is to help local people get a foot on the property ladder and to support the local construction industry.
Cartrefi Croeso has entered into partnership with Coleg Sir Gâr and local construction apprenticeship training schemes to secure training opportunities and jobs during the build of the Burry Port Garden Village, which will be developed by Tŷ Solar and TRJ Construction Ltd.
A large proportion of the homes will be manufactured in a newly established factory in Ammanford, which will also create new jobs, and 80 per cent of the raw materials and the labour will be locally sourced to help sustain local businesses.
Robin Staines, Managing Director of Cartrefi Croeso, said: “We are absolutely delighted that plans for the Burry Port Garden Village scheme have been approved. This will be the first development delivered by Cartrefi Croeso and sets the bar for the future of new, affordable homes in Carmarthenshire.”
Cllr Linda Evans, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Housing, added: “I’m thrilled planning has been approved. This is fantastic news, and will mean local families can benefit from fully adaptable, low-cost homes. We established Cartrefi Croeso to offer families an alternative to social housing and to take advantage of the skills of local companies. This development is a fantastic start, and demonstrates our commitment to supporting local people, communities and businesses.”
Maximising the use of the land, there will be a mix of homes, including apartments built over two storeys with lift access, and bungalows.
Located adjacent to an existing extra care facility, residents with particular support needs can access local care support services.
The design of the homes will also be easily adaptable to changing housing and health needs. The two-bedroom homes can accommodate future lift provision and a wet room on the ground floor, if required; the first floor apartments are accessed by stairs with the provision for easy lift installation, if required; and the one-bedroom accommodation can be adapted into two bedrooms, should the need arise for a live-in carer.
The design, together with the location, will help promote independent living, creating sustainable communities and promoting good physical and mental well-being.
The homes will be created from wood, external larch cladding and spruce core timbers from locally sourced trees to provide warm, comfortable, and affordable homes.
The homes will be south-facing to maximise solar gain. Integrated PV roof panels will generate 7,000KwH of energy per annum per home, and lithium ion batteries will store, on site, up to 150KwH of energy per day during periods of low energy usage.
The walls will be insulated with recycled newspaper, and the wooden windows will achieve Passive House standard.
The innovatively designed homes will achieve a SAP rating of 104, and will consume 12 per cent less energy than traditionally-built homes, meaning energy savings for residents of up to £1,000 a year. They will be designed to encourage low energy life styles, improve health and well-being and mitigate fuel poverty.