MAJOR plans to build 30 “affordable homes” in a Gwynedd village have been approved.

Cyngor Gwynedd’s planning committee accepted plans to build homes at Tir Gyferbyn, opposite Stad Cremlyn, in Bethel.

The application, submitted by Williams Homes (Bala) Ltd and Adra, came amid a housing crisis in the county

One councillor, Gareth Coj Parry, said he was in favour because otherwise “people will be in tents”.

The 1.47 hectare site was designated for housing within the development boundary for Bethel.


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The proposal will see the development of the new homes, a new access to the B4366, an internal access road, landscaped areas and associated drainage.

The housing includes three two-bedroom bungalows, one three-bedroom bungalow with wheelchair access, eight two-bedroom houses, 12 three-bedroom houses, two four-bedroom houses and four one-bedroom flats.

The plans include an informal open space in the eastern corner of the site, with a mixed area to the west for an informal public open area.

Pedestrian access from the residential development to the B4366 was also included.

The agricultural land had been designated for 28 dwellings, but the meeting was told that 30 homes “offered a better use of the land”.

A community town council had welcomed the development but asked for “consideration to be given to the capacity of Ysgol Bethel to cope with additional numbers, especially the risk that the age range of new children would not correspond to the vacant spaces available”.

Fears were also raised over “creating problems to some specific classes, and the risk of financial shortfalls should a large number of pupils start in the school at the same time”.

There was “no space in the secondary school” so a financial contribution in accordance with policy was required.

It was set at £123,028.50, subject to the school’s agreement.

The applicants also intended to give £5,000 for a play area near the site.

The community council had also sought “assurances” that Welsh families would live in the homes, “to protect the language in the village,” a report noted.

Concerns were also raised over sewerage issues in the village, and that the open spaces could become “a focal point for anti-social behaviour”.

But as part of a pre-application consultation, a report said there was “sufficient space for the primary school to cope with the proposal”.

A planning report concluded: “This is a proposal for an affordable housing development [and] has been designed to meet the needs of the local housing market on a site that has been designated for housing within the development boundary of the village.”

Cllr Gruff Williams highlighted the town council observations over who would get the homes, whilst Cllr Louise Hughes felt £5,000 “was a bit measly for play equipment”.

Planning officer Gareth Jones said housing need had been established, and it was one of the council’s “highest priorities”.

The site met policy criteria and the agents were making contributions towards local education.