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Affordable housing project progresses after Council wins court case

Plans for an affordable housing development in Cowbridge can progress after a judicial review found in favour of the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

In December 2022, the Council approved proposals from Hafod Housing for the old Cowbridge Comprehensive School building on Aberthin Road to be demolished and replaced with 34 affordable homes – 30 flats and four houses.

A local group objected to the scheme on the basis that paperwork relating to drainage had not been completed and measures to protect bats were not in place.

But at a hearing in Cardiff, His Honour Judge Andrew Keyser KC dismissed both of those challenges and ordered that the Council be paid £7,500 in costs, the maximum that can be awarded in such cases.

Cllr Bronwen Brooks, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Sustainable Places, said: “I’m delighted by this verdict which means Hafod Housing can press ahead with plans to bring new affordable homes to Cowbridge.

“Properties of this type are much needed in the area as the Council’s own waiting list for housing illustrates.

“They will offer individuals, couples and families safe modern places to live and bring a previously derelict space back into use.

“I hope this verdict sends out a message that the Council will robustly defend its decisions and stick firmly with plans that benefit residents and our communities.”

In addition to the properties, the development will feature parking, landscaping and a bespoke bat roost.

Simon Mellor, Corporate Director of Finance, Investments and Development, said:  “We are pleased to be able to progress with our plans to bring 34 high quality, affordable homes to Cowbridge.

“As a housing provider, we focus not only on the built environment, but pay equal attention to social, economic, and environmental factors. We pride ourselves on building homes that help shape vibrant communities and support the health and wellbeing of our customers.

“This decision will enable us to provide these much-needed homes, helping us to tackle the housing crisis in Wales.”