House demolished without Planning Permission

The developers of the old North Road Hospital site have pre-empted a planning application to demolish a house by demolishing it anyway. The application to demolish Garn Wen in Infirmary Road was submitted in June. The intention is to widen the road to allow further building. The application has received objections from local residents and is likely to be discussed in Ceredigion Council's Development Control Committee in December. Theoretically, if the planning application is rejected the developer could be made to re-build the house. However Ceredigion has a record of taking no action in cases such as this.


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".


Drill Hall Summit Requested

Plaid Cymru councillor Alun Williams has called for those campaigning for a community centre in Aberystwyth to meet as a matter of urgency with the council officers and developers currently making plans for the future use of the Drill Hall in Glyndwr Road.
A meeting in the Buarth Hall organised by former county councillor Hywel Jones was told by Cllr Williams that the Council was planning to move the Day Centre in Park Avenue to the Drill Hall if consultation with the users of the centre proves favourable. As part of the development of Mill Street car park the Day Centre would be replaced with shops and an extra layer would be put on the car park.
Cllr Williams warned,
“Whilst Social Services, who run the Day Centre, would undoubtedly allow community meetings to take place in the Drill Hall from time to time, the current plans would not allow the place to function as the kind of community centre envisaged by campaigners.”
“With plans rapidly being developed, now is the time for a delegation of those concerned to request a meeting with the County Council’s Estates department, Social Services and the developers to thrash out the possibilities for full community usage of the Drill Hall so that these can be incorporated into the plans. If its left much longer it’ll be too late”.
He told the meeting,
“The delegation should include the Community Association, Hywel Jones, who has campaigned so passionately on the issue, and a representative of Glyndwr Road residents.”
The meeting accepted his proposal and agreed to approach the Council.


Heritage Scheme for Aberystwyth

Alun Williams has called for a Heritage Scheme for Aberystwyth similar to those that have operated successfully in Aberaeron, Tregaron and Cardigan. Speaking at a Town Council meeting he said,
“Heritage schemes have operated extremely successfully in Aberaeron, Tregaron and Cardigan. They’ve benefited the economy of those towns and they’ve raised the town pride and self-esteem of everyone who lives in them.
“Aberystwyth has a marvelous architectural heritage that is not being looked after and is being allowed to deteriorate. Other towns in Ceredigion have been transformed by these schemes. The expertise exists in the Council and its clear that the Assembly are supportive. Surely Aberystwyth, the flagship town of not only Ceredigion but the whole of mid-Wales, should now have it’s turn.
“I’m asking the Town Council to write to the Director of Environmental Services and Housing to ask Ceredigion to set aside the resources to make this possible.”