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Hendy: Site bulldozed before objections are heard

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Concerned: Nia Griffiths MP

Concerned: Nia Griffiths MP

BULLDOZERS have moved in to demolish hedgerows, take up kerbs and cut down trees to make a new access for a proposed new building development near the Llwynbedw estate in Hendy, Carmarthenshire.

Residents contacted The Herald on Friday (Oct 23) to visit the estate as they were concerned that the contractors were in breach of planning procedures. Hedgerows are protected Under the Hedgerows Regulations 1997 (SI no 1160): It is against the law to remove most countryside hedgerows (excluding those forming garden boundaries) without permission.

Residents told The Herald that Persimmon Homes has instructed contractors to move onto the site and begin clearing but that the planning process has not been completed. A sign on a nearby lamp post cited the date for closure for objections as 4/11/2015 Residents also claim that the new access to the site was not on the original plans they were privy to. Around 15 residents gathered at the site last Friday along with Nia Griffith MP and Lee Waters, the prospective AM for Llanelli. Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning department has been called into question yet again by the residents of the Llwynbedw estate who say that their requests for a planning enforcement officer to come out and see what was going on were ignored. Lee Waters said, “This company (Persimmon Homes) is a stock market quoted company a major home builder and they seem to be not complying with local planning permission, knocking down hedges, starting building before the planning process has taken its course. Here is an example where a company has clearly not obeyed the rules and it is for Carmarthenshire County Council to restore people’s faith in the planning process.”

Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Nia Griffith MP told The Herald, “I think it is absolutely terrible when people wake up one morning to see machines tearing up the hedgerows and roadway assuming that they are going to get planning permission. There are proper processes. This should be going to a planning committee and it should be considered. All of the residents objections should be taken into consideration. An officers report would be produced and a sensible decision made with all of the evidence. When people are allowed to ride roughshod over the rules it opens the flood gates for others to do the same. My concern here is we have not yet seen the enforcement officers coming out to see what is going on. They should be on this like a tonne of hot bricks and really making sure that they keep on top of the situation and make sure that people can not get away with building without planning permission. People believe that there is a lack of consistency and that there is one rule for one and one rule for another. Their voices are not being listened to. I think it (Carmarthenshire’s Planning Dept) is going to have to do a lot to regain the public’s trust. There is a rumour going around that you can do anything in Carmarthenshire and you will get retrospective planning given to you.”

Huw Llewellyn, managing director for Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “We can confirm that we carried out work at a site in Llwyn Bedw, Hendy.  This was preparation work for the development to divert existing overhead electricity and BT telephone wires, the work was undertaken utilising statutory undertakers’ powers and was not reliant on the planning approval.

Carmarthenshire County Council is aware of the work that has been undertaken and we have been in full dialogue with the authority. An agreement is in place that no further work is to be carried out before the completion of Section 106 agreement which will release the planning approval for the new development.”

In a statement by Carmarthenshire County Council Development Management Manager Julian Edwards he said, “The planning department has been made aware of works being carried out at the site in question, and the developers have been contacted to advise them that any works that constitute development, or the removal of any trees, should cease with immediate effect. The site will continue to be monitored accordingly, with the authority considering what action will be relevant and expedient. Additional works on the land, for example the raising or diverting of power lines, would not necessarily constitute development requiring formal approval, although the authority will monitor this element as well.”

Planning application S/31228 for the construction of 96 dwelling houses and associated infrastructure works was submitted by Persimmon homes in October 2014, and was publicised both in the local press and by means of site notices. Subsequent notices have also been displayed when amended details have been received, the most recent of which took place only last week. As yet, no target date has been set for consideration of the planning application.”

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How Wales created 19 new field hospitals in less than 8 weeks…

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Across Wales the Welsh Government is supporting the NHS to create new field hospitals and rapidly increase bed capacity.
Health boards have repurposed existing buildings, including the Principality Stadium, a holiday park and even a television studio to provide an additional 6,000 beds.Field hospitals are designed to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic by providing extra bed capacity but they will also help normal hospital services be restarted and support social care services.Last month, the first patients were admitted to Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig at the Principality Stadium, in Cardiff.

Four to six weeks

Here is how Wales almost doubled its bed capacity in less than eight weeks…The time it has taken to nearly double hospital bed capacity in Wales, creating field hospitals across the nation.

19 field hospitals in Wales
This includes the repurposing of Bluestone Holiday Park and Parc y Scarlets in west Wales and Venue Cymru in north Wales.

1,500 beds at the Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig
Making it one of the largest field hospitals in the UK.

Five days
The length of time it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig, which overlapped with the build phase.

3,000
The number of planning hours, involving more than 20 different disciplines, it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig.

£166m
Welsh Government funding for the set up, construction and equipment for field hospitals in Wales.

138,000
The number of pieces of equipment have been provided to help support field hospitals, including beds, imaging equipment, syringe drivers and medicines.

Three North Wales field hospitals have the name Enfys
Meaning rainbow – the symbol of hope and thank you to the NHS during the pandemic.
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7-year-old Mattie from Pembrey takes on home Pen y Fan-tastic challenge for Action for Children

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Plucky Mattie Denman will climb the equivalent of Pen y Fan in the drive at her family home in Pembrey on Friday 22nd May to raise funds for Action for Children.

Mattie (7), has always wanted to climb the highest mountain in South Wales and is unable to currently because of the coronavirus pandemic.  As the family exercise at home every day, she decided she wanted to do the 6-mile equivalent journey there while she waits for the chance to do it for real.  Mattie chose Action for Children as her mother, Sian, works for the charity in Carmarthenshire.

Mattie said: ‘My Mammy works for Action for Children and I want to help as well because lots of families need help.  My older brother and sister help Action for Children, so I asked Mammy if I could do something. We exercise everyday walking up and down the drive and I have always wanted to climb Pen y Fan, but we have never done it.

‘Mammy said I could pretend I am walking it and people will give money to the charity. I said brilliant, that is what I am going to do and I am super excited to do it. I will use mammy’s step counter and I hope I can help children that need support especially because it is so hard for some families because of coronavirus.’

Proud mum and family support practitioner for Action for Children, Sian, added: ‘Mattie has a lovely heart and really wanted to do something and I’m very proud she chose Pen y Fan as her home challenge.  Action for Children has been going the extra mile during the coronavirus pandemic continuing to support vulnerable families through phone and video sessions as well as food and help with the basics from our Emergency Appeal Fund. 

‘It is a tremendously challenging time for our families and every bit of money will directly help those in our communities who need it most.  I hope as many people as possible will donate to Mattie’s brilliant fundraising effort, it’ll make it even more special when we finally get to climb Pen y Fan for real.’

If you want to support Mattie’s Pen y Fan challenge please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mattiesclimb

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Housebuilder launches Coronavirus move in package

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A South Wales housebuilder has launched new incentives which mean homes are ‘ready to move into’ during the Covid-19 crisis – without the need for tradespeople or delivery people.

People in Wales are allowed to move into new build houses during the lockdown – and many people have successfully done so.

However, the limitations of social distancing can add extra stress when it comes to having things like dishwashers, washing machines and turf installed in the new property.

That’s why Persimmon Homes West Wales has launched a new incentive package which gives purchasers the chance to buy a house with white goods and flooring already in place.

Sharon Bouhali, sales director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “Our sales advisors have done a terrific job in talking with customers and guiding them through the buying process remotely, without the need of face-to-face meetings.

“It’s been a huge challenge, but we’ve risen to it – and Persimmon has sold more than 120 properties in South Wales during the lockdown period. We have customers moving into their new homes every week.

“But, understandably, some people are cautious about having too many tradespeople and contractors enter their home, even if they are doing their utmost to abide by social distancing rules.

“That’s why we have launched these new packages which mean people can turn the key, unpack and get on with enjoying their new home.”

The package includes carpets and vinyl throughout, turf in the back garden, sliding wardrobes, integrated fridge freezer, integrated washer/dryer, integrated dishwasher and £500 discount towards removal fees.

The deal is on offer at Glas Y Felin in Bridgend, Parc Yr Onnen in Carmarthen, The Bridles in Llanelli, Peterson Park in Pontyclun, Parc Brynderi in Llanelli and Allt Y Celyn in Rhos.

Persimmon’s marketing suites in Wales remain closed for the time being. Visit www.persimmonhomes.com or call 01792 229800 for details of homes available.

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