Planning permission granted for housing cooperative in Carmarthen
Not for profit housing provider Gwalia has been granted planning permission to build 27 new homes on land off Heol Dyfnallt in Carmarthen.
Gwalia is working in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council to deliver the affordable homes as a housing co-operative, one of three Welsh Government pilot projects in Wales. These pioneer projects will explore the use of co-operative models as an additional affordable housing option for people in Wales.
The design of the two, three and four-bedroom homes has been inspired by the local architecture; brickwork facades mirror the material used most frequently in the locality, while the angular bays of nearby Job’s Well House have been modernised and incorporated into the design. The pale buff brick, dark grey window frames and good quality brick detailing seek to produce an elegant result.
Jonathan Hughes, Director of Development at Gwalia said “We are delighted to have been granted planning permission for this innovative housing project. We are already working with a number of people who are interested in becoming founder members of the co-operative and I’m sure they’ll be delighted to know that this project will now become a reality.
“We’ll now start working with them closely on a year-long training plan to ensure that they’re equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to manage their homes successfully.”
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Housing, Cllr Tegwen Devichand, said: “We are one of the first local authorities in Wales to look at co-operative housing, and I’m delighted that this scheme in Carmarthen has now had the go-ahead. Our housing team has been proactive in looking for solutions for people who have an income but struggle to find a large mortgage deposit. Co-operative housing is one of these solutions that will provide local people with a real alternative. We look forward to delivering the scheme with our partners at Gwalia.”
David Palmer, Manager of Wales Co-operative Centre’s Co-operative Housing Project, has supported Gwalia and the new co-operative members in the development of the co-operative. He commented,
“The development of new co-operative homes in Carmarthenshire is great news for the local area. Members of the new co-operative will have the opportunity to participate in the beginning of a new community and to take ownership of the way in which they run their ‘intermediate rented’ homes.
“Co-operative housing offers independence and control, and this tenant-led co-operative will democratically lead the management of their homes. We look forward to continuing to work with Gwalia to help support the members of the new co-operative.”
It is anticipated that work will start on the £3.3 million development in spring 2015.