Plans for last Parc Derwen development approved; changes to new Local Development Plan timetable

(Title Image: via Google Earth)

Earlier this week, Bridgend Council’s planning committee held their monthly meeting (virtually). You can watch the webcast on Youtube.

The main items up for discussion included finalised plans for an expansion of the Pentre Felin estate in Tondu, the final parcel of development at Parc Derwen and a changed timetable for the new Local Development Plan.

Discussion on final Pentre Felin expansion moved to September meeting

The first main item of business – final plans for 400+ homes at Pentre Felin in Tondu (including a mini-bypass) – was delayed to September’s monthly meeting to “resolve outstanding highways matters”.

More on that next month.

Final phase of Parc Derwen approved, but concerns over open space broken promises

Persimmon submitted an application for 102 homes on the final parcel of land within Parc Derwen, bordering Heol West Plas (pdf). The development will result in the original housing allocation for Parc Derwen being exceeded by 68 homes.

Broken promises over play areas were one of the main concerns. A planning officer told the committee that developers have agreed to a new condition to install play areas during September-October 2020. That said, Persimmon argued the development was already within a reasonable distance of playing fields and provision of open space on Parc Derwen (as a whole) was generous.

Cllr. Amanda Williams (Ind, Coity) was sceptical play areas would be installed on time, saying BCBC’s parks department have already been waiting more than two years for the necessary documents from developers.

Cllr. Matthew Voisey (Con, Oldcastle) noted that if the other developments hadn’t happened, this application would require a play area of its own. He sympathised with Cllr. Williams’ views on whether play areas would actually be delivered.

Cllr. John Spanswick (Lab, Brackla) thought planning conditions should be tightened and properly enforced when it comes to play areas; it was also unfair for the developers to blame the parks department.

In the end, the committee unanimously approved the application and the new condition.

Timetable for Local Development Plan revised due to pandemic

The delivery agreement – between BCBC and the Welsh Government – for the new Local Development Plan is to be amended to take into account delays and changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic (pdf).

The first draft proposals were published last year. The original timetable would’ve seen consultation on the deposit plan (the final draft version) launched during July and August 2020. That’s now going to be delayed to January-March 2021.

The pandemic has meant that developers couldn’t carry out technical work needed to support their candidate site submissions, brought about changes to working practices within BCBC and has forced a review the LDP’s evidence base.

Councillors also agreed to start a consultation with the housing industry on a tool to help developers determine whether a proposed site is viable. Developers would pay a fee to BCBC, variable depending on the size of the proposed development (pdf).

The deposit LDP is still on track to be submitted to the Planning Inspector by autumn 2021.

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