A FOURTH attempt to develop land at a former hospital in Carmarthenshire has sparked a fresh wave of opposition.
A company called Thomas Brothers Ltd wants to demolish the old Amman Valley Maternity Hospital, Glanamman, and build 25 affordable houses and bungalows. Two houses on Tirycoed Road, which borders the land, would be knocked down to create access.
Carmarthenshire Council turned down an application in February last year for a 28-home development at the site, which had prompted many objections.
Planning agent Asbri Planning Ltd, which is carrying out a pre-application consultation on Thomas Brothers’s behalf, has argued that the new proposal addressed all the previous grounds for refusal. These related to ecology, landscape, access and traffic calming, and air quality.
Ecology, transport, air quality and drainage reports have been prepared in support of a full planning application to the council.
The 1.4-hectare plot of land isn’t allocated for housing under Carmarthenshire’s local development plan but it is allocated under the new one, although it hasn’t been adopted yet.
Asbri Planning said in a design and access statement that the land was, however, currently identified as a “windfall” site which could make an important contribution to the overall housing supply. Planning permission was being sought, it said, as an “exception” site for affordable housing.
It added: “These affordable dwellings will be allocated, managed and retained as affordable housing in perpetuity.”
Many people in the area opposed the previous application, citing impacts on wildlife and habitats. They were also worried about the access onto Tirycoed Road, which has cars parked on one side and narrow sections of pavement.
One objector, Dr John Studley, said he felt the land should be designated as a site of special scientific interest. Another, Gareth Williams, said: “The big issue here is the ecology and the loss of habitat for protected species.”
A new petition opposing the proposed development has already been signed by more than 250 people.
Previous housing proposals at the site were refused in 2014 and 2016. Anyone wishing to have a say on the pre-application consultation must do so by October 28.