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Delays confirmed to site offering emergency housing for Ukrainian refugees

05 Mar 2024 3 minute read
An artist\’s impression of what the temporary accommodation site where the former Eagleswell Primary School used to be in Llantwit Major could look like.

Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter

The planned opening date for an emergency housing site for Ukrainian refugees has been pushed back.

Members of a Vale of Glamorgan Council scrutiny committee heard at a recent meeting that there are delays to getting the former Eagleswell Primary School site in Llantwit Major up and running due to the delivery of housing units.

The site, which will eventually contain 90 units, was in the news this week after nearby residents complained about the “overbearing” proximity of some of the units to their homes.

Plans for the site were given the go ahead last year under special powers, known as permitted development rights, that the council can use to push through a development without planning permission.

At the homes and safe communities scrutiny committee meeting on Monday, March 4, Conservative Councillor William Hennessy asked if the project is still on budget and when the site will be open.

Transport arrangements 

The council’s head of housing and building services, Mike Ingram, said: “Yes, we are on target, yes we are in line with our original budget estimates.

“In terms of occupation of the site… we are a little bit behind, partly down to transport arrangements for units on to site.

“We are very much dictated by the local police who facilitated the transport of the units across the bridge into Wales and that has caused some delay.”

Mr Ingram went on to add that the temporary site is expected to be occupied sometime towards the end of April or the beginning of May.

Vale of Glamorgan Council last said in 2023 that it was not possible to say how long it will be needed for.

One resident who lives on Pembroke Place said some units at the site are about 16m from his property and about 8m from his neighbour’s.

Another said she felt like the development has been “foisted” on residents and claimed it breaches planning regulations.

Planning application 

The permitted development rights on the temporary housing development run for 12 months.

As this period came to a close early this year, the council prepared a planning application for the site.

The council said in 2023 that it was aiming to bring this application to a planning committee meeting in February 2024, but this did not happen.

Previously, the council said the units had been purposely designed to be demountable and could be easily removed and reused for either temporary or permanent accommodation on other sites.

Most of the accommodation is single storey, apart from a number of units in the centre of the site which are two storeys in height.

The scheme will have its own internal road layout and drainage infrastructure, including car parking, and seek to retain many of the established trees and ecological features on the site.

Vale of Glamorgan Council has been approached for a comment and an update on the planning application for the former Eagleswell Primary School site.

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