PLANS to upgrade and update flats for older people in Ystradgynlais have been approved by Powys planners
Pobl Group (People in Welsh), are behind the proposal to change the use of the Pont Aur (Golden Bridge in Welsh) from C3 – sheltered accommodation to C2 extra care apartments.
The group want to to refurbish the existing building and also build an extension to provide 10 more apartments, as well as landscaping and associated works.
This will bring the total at Pont Aur up to 41 apartments.
Planning case officer, Tamsin Law, said: “The LDP (Local Development Plan) recognises the needs of the oldest in the population and the importance of access to services, public transport, and accommodation requirements which must be taken into account.
“This need has also been identified by Powys County Council (PCC) Social Services Team and is identified within Corporate Improvement Plan 2025.
“In light of this and the recognised need for facilities for older people it is therefore considered that this extra care facility fundamentally complies with relevant planning policy.
“Therefore on balance the proposed development fundamentally complies with relevant local and national planning policies.”
The proposal, which is similar to the conversion of Welshpool’s Neuadd Maldwyn is part of an overall plan by PCC to provide three Extra Care schemes worth over £13 million throughout Powys.
The Pont Aur and Neuadd Maldwyn developments would be joined in theory by a 50 room facility in Brecon, when an appropriate site for it, is found in the town.
This strategy was approved by the cabinet in May 2019,
Extra Care housing offers more than the traditional sheltered accommodation and yet is not fully residential care and is now considered vital by PCC.
It deals with how to accommodate Powys’ ageing population.
In theory, having older people move in to extra care accommodation is supposed to free up their homes to be sold to younger people, or if living in a council house, to those waiting on the housing list.