Flats to be built on site of demolished historic Bangor Railway Institute
Gareth Wyn Williams, local democracy reporter
A social housing provider is expected to get the green light to build 25 affordable flats at the site of a former social club.
According to Adra, which wants to build where once stood Bangor’s Railway Institute, the flats would help clear local housing waiting lists and help those having to pay the “bedroom tax” to downsize.
Just a stone’s throw away from the city centre, the institute was demolished in 2016 but was described by the developers as already “overgrown and a local eyesore.”
The plans, backed in principle by Bangor City Council, come after previous proposals for 27 student apartments were refused by Gwynedd Council.
But this time officers believe the plans would improve the visual appearance of the ‘dormant’ site and would “greatly contribute towards the affordable housing needs of the city” due to being offered on a social rental basis.
The institute was designed as a centre for rail workers to socialise, exercise and read, opened in 1898 by Lord Stalbridge, chairman of the London & North Western Railway.
According to Adra, formerly known as Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd, 15 of the apartments would contain one bedroom and another 10 to contain two.
“The site has been earmarked for redevelopment for a number of years,” noted Adra in their supporting statement.
“Taking account of this background, Adra decided that the site would be provide an opportunity for development to satisfy the need for affordable housing within Bangor.”
Including 25 apartments, its proposed to include 13 car parking spaces while also formalising the car parking spaces already on Ffordd Euston.
But the lack of parking spaces has been flagged up as a concern by Bangor City Council which, while backing the principle of more affordable housing, has also asked developers to provide more spaces.
“In general the application was welcomed as there is a real need for affordable units such as these in the city,” noted the city council in its response, but that “all the main concerns were associated with parking.”
They added, “The suggestion is that any other cars should park in a row down from the top of Euston Road. Members felt that this showed a lack of imagination and that parking on the side would mean more space. They could even use some of the vacant spaces on the railway’s land.
“There was a feeling that more imagination should be used when considering parking in the area around the flats.
“The development could be used to improve parking in the city by offering a vision for parking on Euston Road and the vicinity, for the benefit of the small businesses in West End and the residents of Tai Stesion. Planning benefits can be obtained as a result of this development, by having a new vision for parking.”
But Adra believe that building flats near to bus routes and the city centre would help ease car dependence.
The social housing provider added, “Following recent changes to the benefits system, several tenants have suffered due to the bedroom tax because of under occupancy and wish to move to a smaller home.
“One and two-bedroom properties would assist Adra to better manage its current stock and enable those applicants who wish to move to a smaller home, thus releasing a larger property to other applicants.”
A decision is expected when Gwynedd Council’s Planning Committee meets next Monday, November 22.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.