Plans for nine flats and starter homes at former garage approved

Powys County Council

The plans by Hughes Architects on a brownfield site at the former Fairview garage in Guilsfield, near Welshpool, were approved 13 votes for and one abstention by Powys County Council’s planning committee members.

The approval will see nine homes built on the site. Two of the homes will be affordable properties targeted at local people.

Concerns had previously been raised that listed buildings, including the Grade I and II listed St Aelhaiam Church, could be affected and a development could detract from the area.

However, Doug Hughes, managing director of Hughes Architects, said: “This is great news for Guilsfield and for local people looking to get on to the housing ladder or to move to affordable homes in the village.

“The applicant has owned the site since 2015 and had originally considered a business on the site. But this proved unviable and affordable, good quality housing was identified as the only option.

“As with many villages, such housing is hard to come by and our design, which fits with the prominent central village location, will not only provide a housing solution, but it will also improve this important area of the village.”

Mr Hughes said to councillors: “The site has been vacant for over five years and is somewhat of an eyesore. This is an opportunity to do something about that. What do you do with a site like this, which is surrounded on all sides by housing?

“One of the objectors to this application has suggested a row of shops, but at a time when our major towns are struggling, any form of commercial development in our smaller villages is just not commercially viable. Housing in amongst housing in a village centre is the best outcome here.”