PLANS for an affordable housing scheme next to a covered reservoir in Swansea come under the spotlight next week.
Social housing group Pobl wants to build 44 homes available for social rent on a field in Penyrheol.
The 1.7-hectare site off Pencefnarda Road is in open countryside, which generally cannot be built on. But there are exceptions – including affordable housing to meet local need, subject to certain criteria.
Swansea Council planning officers, who have recommended the application for approval, said the scheme met this criteria and that therefore the principle of development was acceptable.
There were 27 letters of objection, with a further four after Pobl amended the description of the development.
Residents raised numerous concerns, including drainage, access to the site, increased traffic, loss of agricultural land, environmental impact and whether the properties could be sold on as private in future years.
The scheme also prompted one letter of support.
Ward councillor Jan Curtice has requested that members of the council’s planning committee, which meets to discuss the application on September 7, visit the site to see its sloping profile and proposed access approximately 20m east of Heol Elfed.
“The committee will not be able to understand the gradient and proposed junction without being on site,” said her objection letter.
Cllr Curtice also claimed the land was of a higher agricultural value than submitted on behalf of Pobl.
She acknowledged that attempts had been made by Pobl to include play equipment within the scheme, and also requested that if approved, the houses were occupied by people with a local connection.
The estate would feature two four-bedroom houses, 18 three-beds, 18 two-beds, and six one-bed flats in the form of an Arts and Crafts style development. There would be a mix of brickwork and render, chimney stacks for visual interest, and gardens of varying sizes.
Planning officers said the scheme was, on balance, acceptable subject to a number of conditions. These include the properties being for social rent.
The planning department also require Pobl to sign a legal to contribute £25,000 towards pedestrian and junction improvements and £30,200 towards increased capacity at YGG Pontybrenin.
A design and access statement submitted on behalf of Pobl said the scheme would be attractive.
It added: “The accessible, connected layout will create a welcoming healthy, and sociable place to live and visit.”