‘Disgraceful if they don’t’: Councillors insist that houses in Gwynedd village use local slate
Gareth Williams, local democracy reporter
Developers have been urged to use local slate in the construction of 12 affordable homes in a Gwynedd village that grew as a result of the once-dominant industry.
Plans for five two bedroom and seven three bedroom properties by MacLennan Construction for Cae Gors, Tregarth, were backed by members of Gwynedd Council’s planning committee.
But while the recommended proposal includes a proviso that natural slate be used in the construction, members also urged that the slate should be locally sourced.
Cllr Dafydd Owen, the local councillor, said: “We have excellent quarries in Gwynedd and are now a UNESCO world heritage site, but are we going to use Spanish slate or something?!”
Cllr Edgar Owen accepted they could not force the applicants to use local slate, but said it would be “disgraceful if they didn’t.”
The properties will be offered for both social and intermediate rent by local housing association, Adra.
A spokesperson for Adra said that “the decision has not yet been made on which slate will be used on this site. It’s important to us at Adra that we use local produce where we can and keep the pound local.”
“Whichever slate will be used, we will follow the policies in place set by the local planning authority,” they said.
Recommended for approval by planning officers, members were told that the development would help meet a need for affordable housing in the area.
But the community council raised observations including surface water and visibility concerns, describing the road leading into the village as a “very dangerous corner”.
The plans would involve deviating the watercourse that runs through the site to its western peripheries, but there was no record of flooding.
But with no play area being provided, the developers would be asked to contribute £2,800 towards such provision in the village.
Cllr Dafydd Owen added: “We don’t oppose the site in its entirety but the community council is concerned about the location of three homes nearest to the river.
“If there are floods what will the situation be in regards to the tenants?
“We support the plan but would recommend delaying those three homes until the others have been built, to gauge the situation in terms of surface water.”
The proposal to approve the application was unanimously backed, however.
Responding to the decision, a spokesperson for Adra said, “We are working in partnership with MacLennan Construction who presented the planning application for this site.
“We look forward to work with them to provide affordable homes to meet the local housing need.”
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How much is local slate vis a vis imported slate?It used to be much more expensive.