ON SATURDAY morning (Mar 25) crowds gathered near Genwen Farm to protest against a scheme to construct 240 homes
Del Philips, a protester spoke to the Herald: “This planning application has been on the cards for the last ten years, just over ten years. It has been approved for planning, but the processes used, in my view, are totally against the planning regulations that exist at the moment. The developers haven’t followed the rules or the current law in respect of planning.”
He explained that there are well-known problems surrounding the site “The problems with sewerage, surface water and all these sorts of things and the capacity of the roads are all well-known, and yet the planning officers recommend approval despite all the matters that militate against it.”
Local councillors were in attendance and Del explained that they have the backing of the local councillor, Cllr Deryk Cundy: “The local councillor is here this morning and is fully supportive of our protest.”
The Herald spoke with Cllr Deryk Cundy about the protest and asked why he is against the build of 240 homes.
Cllr Cundy explained that his main concern was for the safety of the residents of Bynea and that this specific development overwhelms the locality and its infrastructure.
He said: “It’s too many houses in too small a space. The sewage system does not cater for what we have actually already got in terms of homes and that’s only just been finalised through the construction of the new pumping station to meet existing need.
“However, this new development will have to store sewage on site because the system lacks the capacity take it. It’s important because of the safety issue, as much as anything else. I’m concerned we were having sewage flooding in the village only two years ago, that was alleviated and that now this new development is going to be a disaster for us.”
Cllr Cundy said that he is working with other local councillors, all of whom are opposed to the development. He has made representation to the county council in regards to the application.
“The application now in is the detailed application. There was an outline application before and I presented against it, along with a number of people here including Del Philips and Terry Davies at the actual planning committee. We lost that and we were unfortunate, but this detailed one is just too much.”
Cllr Steve Donoghue, Chairman of the Rural council was in attendance, when asked about the protest he said: “The important things is to give the residents an opportunity to have their say, the demonstration against what is a definitely the wrong decision.”
He explained that it was the last stand and an opportunity for residents to say ‘no we can’t have this’.
During the event, protestors were emphasising the size of cesspit.
Cllr Donoghue explained how this will have an effect on properties: “Today we’ve been emphasising the size of the cesspit that they’re going to be building. Just to contain sewage from these properties it’ll be a 100ft wide and 20/30ft deep. It’s going to be a massive issue.
“I hope, to be honest with you, that there aren’t any incidents where somebody falls through to the cesspit. It’s not been tried and tested and while something that size has been used in another part of the country, that holds rain water, surface water, but not sewage. I think it’s an potential disaster waiting to happen.”
Steve Donoghue continued “As well as issues over drainage and sewage, we’ve also got problems with traffic. We’re also going to have problems with the fact there are no amenities here: the schools are almost at their maximum area, so there’ll be no schools for the children, there are no playing facilities, there are no shops. There’s a whole list of things we haven’t got and then they’re going to put another 240 homes here as an extra strain on an already creaking system.”
Cllr Donoghue said that along with Cllr Cundy, they have been working with other councillors about this issue: “We’ve spoken with other councillors in the Llanelli area and they’re fully behind us on this.
“The tragedy is when the decision has to be made in Carmarthen a lot of the councillors will be from miles and miles away: they’ll have no connection to Llanelli and they’ll make a decision based on something that has nothing really to do with them and that they won’t have to live with.”
Head of Planning, Llinos Quelch, said: “The formal planning process allows interested parties to have their say before a decision is made. As the developer has amended plans for some of the proposed units, there will now be further opportunity for comments and observations to be made. We encourage people to do that via the appropriate channels. Information about the plans for this proposed development, and about how observations can be made, is available on the council’s website.”
Wales stands firm in support for Ukraine
IN THE latest update on the Ukraine crisis, Wales’s Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt thanked all those households across Wales who have come forward to offer their homes to Ukrainians fleeing the War and encouraged more households to provide this vital support.
APPEAL FOR MORE HOST FAMILIES
The Minister for Social Justice said: “I’m delighted to say that over 5,650 people from Ukraine, sponsored by the Welsh Government and Welsh households, have already arrived in the UK.
“More than 8,200 visas have now been issued to people from Ukraine who have sponsors in Wales, so we expect the number of arrivals to continue to grow in the coming weeks.
“Thousands of Welsh households sponsored Ukrainians to arrive in Wales and committed to hosting them for at least six months.
“As we move into the autumn, we approach the end of that initial period.
“We hope hosts and Ukrainians will agree to extend many of those placements, but we need additional hosts to support those who cannot continue living where they are.
“To ensure a warm welcome to Wales, I’m inviting households across Wales to come forward and open their homes to welcome those seeking sanctuary.
“We’re immensely thankful to all those across Wales acting as hosts to Ukrainians, but more households must come forward.
“I completely understand that there are those who want to help but may not have the resources to do so, given the circumstances we’re all facing with the cost-of-living crisis.”
WALES WILL STEP UP TO THE PLATE
Jane Hutt continued: “What we all know, and has been proven countless times, is that the people of Wales are one of the most generous across the globe, and I’m sure we will step up to the plate once again.
“The idea of hosting can be daunting. That’s why we have funded Housing Justice Cymru to provide a Host Support service which includes expert and reliable information, training, advice, and guidance for people hosting, or those considering hosting, Ukrainians in Wales.
“More information on sessions and training can be found on the Housing Justice Cymru website. We also publish regularly updated guidance for hosts and sponsors at gov. wales/ukraine.
“We still need many more households to consider whether they could provide a home for those in need. This would normally be a commitment to hosting for 6 to 12 months.
“If anyone is considering this, we encourage them to register their interest at gov.wales/offerhome, and to attend one of the ‘Introduction to Hosting’ sessions, facilitated by Housing Justice Cymru. You won’t need to continue the process if you decide it is not for you.
“We have also partnered with Airbnb.org to ensure very short-term emergency placements can be provided to prevent homelessness.
“If you cannot host for more than 6 months but you could offer your property for up to 30 days at a time, you may also be able to contribute. Visit gov.wales/offerhome and follow the link to the Airbnb.org platform.”
Finally, the Minister stated: “We will continue to communicate with those who host Ukrainians, with updated guidance and information to support the valuable role you are undertaking.
“To all those that are already hosting and to those that are considering hosting, thank you, we owe you all a huge debt of gratitude.”
WESTMINSTER MUST BACK HOSTS
DURING COST-OF-LIVING CRISIS
Conservative MS Mark Isherwood raised how the cost-of-living crisis affects Ukrainian refugees.
Where families had taken in those fleeing Russian aggression, he noted a risk of sponsorships not continuing beyond six months because the hosts cannot afford the rise in fuel costs.
He asked the Minister what discussions she’d had with the UK Government about increasing the £350 contribution to households who’d taken in Ukrainian refugees.
The Minister agreed with Mark Isherwood that ending a specific ministerial post dealing with refugees was regrettable.
She noted a lack of information from the UK Government over the summer months and since Liz Truss replaced Boris Johnson as head of the Conservative Government.
Ms Hutt said: “We asked for an increase at least to £500, or up again, doubling to £700 per month. An urgent decision is needed regarding this as they reach the end of their six-month period.
“That period is underway, so we’re writing to all hosts to see if they will continue.”
UK GOVERNMENT URGED
TO PICK UP THE PHONE
The Minister thanked Mark Isherwood for introducing her to a charity offering support in North Wales, Link, and hoped that he and his colleagues would bring pressure to bear on their Westminster colleagues to ensure those in need from Ukraine and those in Wales helping them received support.
She added: “I look forward perhaps that we might have some telephone calls from the Prime Minister and other Ministers to us in Government. We must engage with them and follow this through.
“There is a huge job of work to be done here. We’re taking responsibility in the way I’ve outlined, funding our welcome centres and paying thank-you payments to hosts if they support a family who initially arrived in Wales under the Ukraine family scheme.
“That’s not happening in England. The commitment that we’re making is considerable.
“I hope everyone will join us today, saying that we need to press for those answers in terms of financial support.”
THE THREAT OF HOMELESSNESS
Sioned Williams of Plaid Cymru raised the spectre of Ukrainian refugees becoming homeless in Wales due to a lack of financial support and the end of existing hosting and housing placements.
The Minister praised the work of local authorities across Wales supporting refugees.
She said: “There are very imaginative programmes. That includes a whole range of issues like repurposing empty buildings.
“Local authorities are really coming up with a whole range of ways in which we can support people, perhaps, from a welcome centre, or a host family, into that intermediate accommodation, and then on to other longer-term accommodation.”
Pembrokeshire currently houses around 200 Ukrainian refugees, with the demand for assistance outstripping the availability of suitable accommodation.
NOT ONE PENNY FROM WESTMINSTER
TO SUPPORT FAMILIES FLEEING WAR
Responding to a question from Mabon ap Gwynfor about problems housing family groups, Jane Hutt hit out at the lack of support from the UK Government and how it’s u-turned on a commitment to help families.
“The UK Government has never given a penny towards the family scheme.
“The former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, in one of his last PMQs, actually said that he thought the Ukraine family scheme should get the same funding and support as the Homes for Ukraine scheme. It’s never happened.
“We have provided thank-you payments to people who are hosting Ukrainian families. It’s all Welsh Government money; it’s not UK Government, because they don’t provide a penny. And also, the British Red Cross—£246,000—who are actually supporting Ukrainian families who are hosting family members under the Ukrainian family scheme.”
On Wednesday, September 28, Eluned Morgan, Wales’s Health Minister, announced the continuation of free healthcare in Wales to Ukrainian residents displaced by the ongoing conflict.
The exemption will continue to apply unless there’s a significant change in circumstances in Ukraine.
Retired teacher, 75, dies following Saturday night incident in Burry Port
RETIRED teacher Peter Ormerod, aged 75, who suffered serious injuries in an incident in Burry Port on Saturday night (24 September) has sadly passed away earlier today.
His family have paid tribute to him, saying: “Peter was a well-respected teacher and member of the community.
“A very loved and loving father, grandfather, brother and friend.”
The family requests privacy at this difficult time.
Detectives ask for help following an assault outside a Llanelli bar
DETECTIVES from Dyfed-Powys Police are looking to speak to several men to help with its enquiries following an assault outside a Llanelli bar.
At around 3am on Monday, 29 August, a man was attacked outside the Met Bar in Station Road. He was left with a fractured eye socket, cuts and bite marks.
Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org. Quote reference: DP-20220829-062.
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