18/10/2007

Getting the right balance between flats and houses

Alun Williams has called for a halt to family houses being converted into flats in Aberystwyth. On Wednesday, Ceredigion County Council's Development Control Committee decided to allow the conversion of 'Preseli' in North Road into three flats despite objections from several local residents and the Town Council.
Speaking during the debate, Alun Williams said:

"There's nothing wrong with flats but we have hundreds of them now and every healthy town needs the right balance between flats and traditional houses. In Aberystwyth, that balance is in danger of being lost as we lose more and more family homes to flat conversions.

"Contrary to what the planning officer's report says, there's nothing 'inevitable' about this. Traditional houses are what gives a town its roots. The planning department should now be exercising control in order to maintain the kind of community people rather than abandoning its responsibility like this.

"Following strong lobbying from Aberystwyth Town Council, the Unitary Development Plan quite rightly stopped the development of any further HMOs in the town. When its successor – the Local Development Plan – is being formulated, I will be arguing that the time has come to do the same with the conversion of traditional homes to flats".

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