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Senior councillors are expected to support proposals to build around 100 council homes in Rhymney, Risca, Trethomas, and Bargoed – to meet the “ever-increasing need”.
Currently there are 6,738 applicants on Caerphilly County Borough Council’s common housing register (CHR) – an increase from 5,216 in February 2020.
In January 2020, the council’s cabinet committed to building 400 low-carbon affordable homes by 2025 to address the housing need.
In July this year, the council completed work on homes in Trecenydd and Trethomas, which are among the first council homes to be built in the county borough in 20 years.
Cllr Shayne Cook, cabinet member for housing, said: “The high number on our housing register shows there is a need to build more council houses. We are looking at sites that could possibly accommodate housing, further to site investigations.”
At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, November 16, senior councillors are expected to support plans for the proposed affordable homes, in line with officers’ recommendations.
What is Caerphilly County Borough Council’s cabinet?
A council’s cabinet is made up of councillors in charge of different policy areas – such as education, environment, local economy, etc – and a leader.
It is separate to the council’s corporate management structure, which is headed up by its chief executive and various directors. Cabinet is made up of councillors, who are elected and have the ultimate say.
Typically, cabinet members are councillors from the party with the most elected council members.
Caerphilly County Borough Council’s cabinet is made up of:
- Cllr Sean Morgan (Nelson) – Leader
- Cllr Jamie Pritchard (Morgan Jones) – Deputy Leader; Prosperity, Regeneration and Climate Change
- Cllr Nigel George (Risca East) – Corporate Services and Property
- Cllr Eluned Stenner (New Tredegar) – Finance and Performance
- Cllr Carol Andrews (Gilfach) – Education and Communities
- Cllr Shayne Cook (Morgan Jones) – Housing
- Cllr Julian Simmonds (Crosskeys) – Highways and Transportation
- Cllr Elaine Forehead (Van) – Social Care
- Cllr Philippa Leonard (Risca East) – Planning and Public Protection
- Cllr Chris Morgan (Machen and Rudry) – Waste, Leisure and Green Spaces
Corporate management is made up of unelected employees of the council and has responsibility for day-to-day management of services, such as making sure the bins are collected. Corporate directors work with cabinet members to come up with policy which is then agreed upon by the cabinet.
Last updated June 29, 2022
Here’s where the houses are proposed:
Former Aldi site, Rhymney
A mixture of one, two, three and four bedroom homes are proposed for land in the north of Rhymney. Twenty-three homes are proposed all together, including 13 low-cost home ownership (LCHO) and ten market sales.
The report states that the scheme would result in “a blended community in a sustainable location at the northern end of the county borough”.
The council is aiming to obtain outline planning permission for the scheme by April 2023.
All of the schemes included in the report are expected to be completed by summer 2024 – subject to planning permission.
Brookland Road, Risca
Between 13 and 29 homes could be built near Risca town centre, according to the report.
The council is considering two options for this scheme, the first is to retain the youth centre which is located on the site and the second is to demolish the centre to free up more space for homes.
A planning pre-application enquiry has been submitted for both options. They include two and three bedroom low-cost homes and later-living apartments.
Councillor Bob Owen, who represents Risca West, said: “The youth centre is still in full use, we have got to keep that. But if it has to go then we need a replacement before it’s demolished.”
The Independent councillor added that parking on Brookland Road is already an issue, so this would need to be taken into account when deciding what to build on the site.
Cllr Owen said he supported the proposal for later living accommodation as this would free-up family homes, and “future-proof Risca” and its aging population.
The council has said the “main obstacle” is the decision on the future of the youth centre.
James Street, Trethomas
Eight later-living bungalows are proposed for land to the north of James Street and 12 one-bedroom apartments are proposed for land to the south of James Street.
Both areas are currently public open space, but are described by the council as “low-quality”. A tree survey has been carried out and any trees “of value” will be retained.
According to the report, the three ward councillors – Cllr Elizabeth Aldworth, Cllr Lisa Phipps, and Cllr Jill Winslade – collectively disagreed with the proposals.
The report states: “A planning pre-application enquiry has been prepared but has not yet been submitted due to the anticipated political sensitivity surrounding this site.”
Park Estate, Bargoed
The final proposal is for up to 40 homes to be built across three parcels of land at Western Drive, Heol Pencarreg, and Heol Coedcae.
Western Drive and Heol Coedcae will each have 16 one-bedroom apartments, and eight later-living bungalows are proposed for Heol Pencarreg.
A survey found that a large portion of the land at Western Drive could not be built on due to its ecological value.
Planning applications for the above schemes are yet to be submitted, but cabinet members are to discuss whether the council should continue with the schemes.
The demolition of the former Ty Darran care home is expected to start in January 2023, and the 46-home development is expected to start in autumn 2023.
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