Major New Plans for Llys Ardwyn

A substantial new planning application has been submitted on the Llanbadarn Road side of Llys Ardwyn, the Old Penweddig School site. The application (A090241) is for an total of 28 new units. These include:
· a block of 13 one-bedroom flats next to the Llanbadarn Road access
· Two terraces of four and three houses each behind Norton Terrace, plus a single dwelling
· The conversion of the former school science block into four units
· Three single houses on the Cae’r Gog side

The application can be expected to receive particular comment from residents bordering the site on Llanbadarn Road.

Other applications so far approved at Llys Ardwyn are:
Phase 1 - 9 flats
Phase 2 - 18 flats
Phase 3 (the old school 'C' Block) - 17 flats (inc. 3 affordable)
4 apartments in the 'Undercroft' (3 as affordable housing)
Houses on plots 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

The latest on other planning applications in Bronglais ward and around is below:

Bwthyn Briallu, Coedlan Iorwerth Avenue A090103CA
Demolition of brick pillar to enable vehicular access (Conservation Area consent)

Crown Buildings, Plascrug A090069AV
Display of advertisement (fixed laminated canvas banner)
Diweddaraf / Latest – CONSENT GRANTED

Ysbyty Bronglais / Bronglais Hospital A080176
Erection of 5 storey extension and 2 storey car parkOutline application (i.e. for the principle of the development)Diweddaraf / Latest – Discussed at the Development Control Committee on 12th November 2008. The application was DEFERRED, pending agreement with the Trunk Road Agency on road traffic safety on the Penglais Hill side and also subject to the agreement of measures to manage traffic during both the construction and operational period of the development - this will involve the construction of a Park & Ride near the top of Penglais Hill. Negotiations between the Hospital, the Trunk Road Agency and the University, who own the potential Park & Ride land, are at an advanced stage. A public exhibition on the latest plans was held on 7th April. See blog on that day for more details.

Plot 6, Llys Ardwyn, Ffordd Ddewi / St David's Road (Hen Safle Penweddig / Old Penweddig site) A080513
Codi ty datgysylltiedig / Erection of a detached dwelling
Darn o dir ar ochr yr ysbyty o'r safle yw Plot 6 ac mae modd ei gyrraedd o'rtracc ger brig Cae'r Gog
Plot 6 is the piece of land on the hospital side of the site, accessible via the track at the top of Cae'r Gog.
Diweddaraf / Latest – No objection from Highways Dept. The application is being dealt with by outside consultants brought in to help clear the Council’s backlog of planning applications.

Llyfrgell Cenedlaethol Cymru / National Library of Wales A080401
Hewl un ffordd newyddyn cysylltu y Llyfrgell a Champws y Brifysgol
One-way link road between the National Library and the University Campus
Diweddaraf / Latest – APPROVED subject to conditions

Northgate House, Stryd y Dollborth / Northgate Street A070273
Gosod 2 uned tewychu wrth ymyl yr adeilad
Installation of 2 condensing units to side of buildingDiweddaraf / Latest - Development Control Committee on 18th June 2008 decided that the application should be deferred to invite the applicant to relocate the condensing units or, failing the identification of an appropriate site, the carrying out of works to mitigate the sound from the units which is disturbing local residents. Officers were also told to consider imposing restrictions on the operating times of the units. A failure to agree to this will result in refusal of permission and enforcement action. The owners now look set to agree that the unit must only operate between the hours of 7am – 6pm Monday - Friday

Gellir gweld y cynlluniau yn Swyddfa Cyngor y Dref yn Neuadd y Dref, Aberystwyth (Ffon 624761). Dylid danfon sylwadau at yr Adran Cynllunio, Neuadd Cyngor Ceredigion, Penmorfa, Aberaeron, Ceredigion, SA46 0PA.

Plans for all applications can be viewed in the Town Council Office in Aberystwyth Town Hall (Tel 624761). Comments can be sent to the Planning Department, Neuadd Cyngor Ceredigion, Penmorfa Aberaeron, Ceredigion, SA46 0PA

Plaid Assembly Members in Aberystwyth

Plaid Cymru Assembly Members Leanne Wood and Bethan Jenkins will be in Aberystwyth on Thursday 7th May when they will address a meeting in the Cwps (on the corner of Llanbadarn Road and Northgate Street).

Bethan went to University in Aberystwyth and is well-known to many people in the town. Both have developed a reputation for being outspoken in the Assembly and not afraid to rock the boat so anyone attending can expect honesty and open discussion. Everyone welcome.


Council Acknowledges Community Feeling and Tells Developer to Alter Plans

Ceredigion Council Officers today acknowledged the depth of community feeling about proposals to demolish small shops in Aberystwyth town centre and agreed to tell private sector developers to alter their plans. The acknowledgement came in a private briefing for County Councillors at Arad Goch in Bath Street as a crowd of 55 people demonstrated outside.

Almost all councillors at the briefing, both those representing wards within the town and those from further afield, spoke of the large number of representations they had received on the subject and there was general acknowledgement that the way the whole episode had been dealt with had been a public relations disaster for the Council.

Following the meeting the Council issued the following statement on behalf of Eurfyl Evans, the Council's Cabinet Member for Economic Development:
"Being the responsible Cabinet Member, I am now going to ensure that the representations and comments received by Ceredigion County Council are to be placed with the private sector developer and with the relevant officers of the Welsh Assembly Government. I have asked my officers to invite the private sector developer to reassess all the options and to bring forward a development scheme recognising as much as possible the concerns which have been expressed. I am also going to ask for there to be public consultation on this scheme, to be undertaken by the private sector developer, before Ceredigion County Council can consider the value of any redevelopment scheme."

This still gives considerable leeway to the developers but, whilst it remains open to them to propose any scheme they wish, it is now very unlikely that they would receive either Council or Assembly help for a scheme that could not demonstrate community support. Without this help, no scheme would be viable.

The Council's Economic Development Department will now produce a report for the Full Council meeting on April 30th in Aberaeron but there will be no proposals for Compulsory Purchase Orders put to that meeting, as had originally been planned. The report will include details of all representations received, including a 2,300 signature petition handed to Council officials before today's meeting by demonstrators.


Latest Bronglais Plans

Bronglais Hospital revealed their latest plans for a £30.5 million extension at a public exhibition today. Although the extension plans have been public since last year, a planned new Park & Ride at Frongoch Farm on Clarach Road was being shown to the public for the first time. This would provide 200 parking spaces, 100 for the hospital and 100 for the University. The section of Clarach Road leading to the current field would be widened and a pavement provided. The planning application is due to be submitted in the next week. Objections to the development of a greenfield site may come from residents in that area.

Changes to the five-storey hospital extension since it was last shown to the public include the building being moved back six metres from the road, to be in line with the existing hospital, and the fourth and fifth storeys being stepped back to avoid an overwhelming appearance in Caradog Road. A pedestrian link though to the Penglais side has also been included at the request of residents.

Although it had been hoped that the provision of an extra layer on the hospital car park would increase car parking capacity, plans now show capacity being increased by just one - from the current 222 to 223 places. This is due to the moving back of the new building from Caradog Road, the provision of additional disabled spaces and conditions laid down by the Trunk Road Agency. However the car park will be supplemented by the extra 100 places in the Park & Ride.
The intention is to run a shuttle mini-bus between the Park & Ride and the hospital from 7am - 10pm.
Only designated staff will be allowed to park on the hospital site, the rest being allocated for patients and visitors. Other hospital staff will be strongly encouraged to use the Park & Ride. However, until the County Council provides a Residents' Parking scheme, there will be nothing preventing staff from parking in the crowded streets around the hospital as many do now to the consternation of local residents. On the other hand, the closing of the A&E entrance in Caradog Road would greatly reduce activity on that side and this may well result in fewer cars wanting to park in these streets.

The hospital's planned timetable for the development currently looks like this:
April 2009 - Planning application for new Park & Ride submitted
July 9th 2009 - Probable date for outstanding planning issues to be discussed by Council's Develoment Control Committee.
Aug-Nov 2009 - Park & Ride car park to be built
July-Aug 2010 - Demolition of old maternity unit and construction of extra layer on existing car park
Sept 2010-Sept 2012 - New extension to be built
Sept 2012-June 2014 - Internal refurbishment of new extension
June 2014 - Opening of new extension

Negotiations with the Trunk Road Agency over access from the Penglais side are understood to have been difficult but are now largely resolved. There is some anxiety that, with severe cuts in government funding, any further delay could jeopardise the whole scheme. Alan Axford, Medical Director of Hywel Dda NHS Trust, said, "If this development doesn't go ahead I'm absolutely certain that services will be centralised and they won't be centralised to Aberystwyth". The next step is for the Park & Ride planning application, together with remaining issues on the main site, to go to the Council's Development Control Committee, probably in July.


Support for Small Shops Campaign Grows as Council Gives First Indication of Backing Down

Nerys Evans, Plaid Cymru Regional Assembly Member for Mid & West Wales, is the latest figure to lend her support to the campaign to save small shops in central Aberystwyth. Her recent letter received by the campaign group Cadw Calon Aberystwyth says:

"These large scale proposals certainly change the current original Masterplan proposal for the Post Office site and further public consultation is paramount.

"We in Carmarthen are currently witnessing the development of the old mart site with the arrival of Debenhams as the anchor store. The old mart site was empty and is not at the heart of Carmarthen town. I am not persuaded that the architectural character of
Aberystwyth should be sacrificed for the needs of Debenhams. I feel that this would change the very reasons why Aberystwyth is such an important, iconic town.

"I understand from Elin Jones AM that Councillors are suggesting that this project is being led by the Assembly Government and that the Council is almost powerless to resist. I also confirm that this is not the case. The Assembly Government would not release major funding for projects unless they are advocated by the local County Council. I have witnessed the very same tactic by Councillors in Carmarthenshire recently who openly state that they are powerless to stop the closure of three secondary schools due to National Assembly guidelines."

Nic Bourne, Conservative Regional Assembly Member, has also given his support to the campaign and will be meeting small businesses in the town on Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile a County Council Officer at the heart of developing the controversial proposals for demolishing small shops has indicated that the Council will back down from their original plan to ask a meeting of the Full County Council on 30th April to support Compulsory Purchase Orders on any property owners in the area not willing to sell. A recent reply to one owner says, "I can confirm that we will not be requesting any resolution on CPOs at the meeting of Full Council on 30th April". This marks a significant climb down for the Council who had originally stated an intention to have the Orders agreed in principle on this date.

The next key date in the campaign comes on Thursday 9th April when County Councillors will receive a briefing from the Council's Economic Development Department in a closed session at 10am in Arad Goch in Bath Street. Campaigners are planning to meet outside at at 9.30am to greet councillors as they go into the meeting.


Poster Campaign Launched to Save Small Shops

Cliciwch i ehangu / Click to enlarge

Cadw Calon Aberystwyth, who are campaigning for sensitive development in the centre of Aberystwyth and against the County Council's current proposals, have launched their new poster which it is hoped will be displayed in dozens of shops in the town.

The level of support for the campaign from small traders has been dramatically demonstrated in this week's Cambrian News where no fewer than 46 small businesses across the town have funded a two page advertisement on pages 14 & 15 explaining their opposition to the proposed demolition of 16 shops and many more homes in the town centre to make way for a Debenhams department store. So great was the support within the town's business community for this unprecedented advert that several shops could not be included due to lack of space.

Cadw Calon Aberystwyth are keen to emphasise that they positively support new development so long as this respects the historic buildings and small shops of the town.