Glyntraian Community Councillors voted by a majority of 7-1 to endorse a recommendation to develop a small number of low-cost starter homes on the former Ysgol Pontfadog site in the village of Pontfadog in the Ceiriog Valley at its Council meeting last night [Wednesday 4th March].
The vote followed publication on Friday 28th February of a 38-page feasibility study and options appraisal. The report by independent community engagement consultant, Marc Roberts of Cynlas Cyf, is supported by a 58-page Appendices document. It comes eight months after the closure of the 110-year-old village primary school by Wrexham Council and six months of intense engagement with stakeholders and members of the local community.
Tasked with exploring the most viable, feasible and financially sustainable future for the site, Mr Roberts’s report concluded that affordable housing for young families, firmly tied into a local lettings policy and with a community benefit embedded into any development agreement, will best serve the wider interests of the Glyntraian community.
A postal survey of 323 households in the ward elicited an impressive 71% response rate. Affordable starter homes for young families earned the maximum highest perceived benefit score from 40% of all respondents – higher than any other option.
Cynlas Cyf, based near Caernarfon, was appointed to manage the community engagement project after a competitive tender and selection process. The project was co-funded by Glyntraian Community Council and Regional Development Agency, Cadwyn Clwyd through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme.
The meeting was attended by Wrexham Council Leader, Cllr Mark Pritchard and Cadwyn Clwyd Project Manager, Helen Williams, who both praised the integrity and quality of the process.
Glyntraian Community Council Chairman, Cllr Graham Barrow said: “We wish to thank Marc Roberts for his diligence and hard work in conducting a rigorous and thoughtful consultation. He has produced a balanced and extremely detailed report, thoroughly researched, soundly evidenced and which pays due regard to the desires of many in our community.
“The report will now be forwarded to Wrexham Council, owners of the site, for further consideration. We look forward to working closely with the Authority, potential developers and of course, Glyntraian residents in designing a scheme the village can be proud of and which duly acknowledges the much-valued history and heritage of the old school.
The Ysgol Pontfadog Feasibility Study project received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development from the Welsh Government
Marc Roberts is a Director of Cynlas Cyf. He spent over 20 years in the WDA and Welsh Government developing and delivering several business support and regeneration programmes and was Regeneration Manager for Conwy and Denbighshire before becoming the WDA Business Connect Manager for North Wales. He was subsequently appointed the Head of Business Engagement (All Wales) for Welsh Government. He was appointed by Glyntraian Community Council and Cadwyn Clwyd in September 2019 following a successful submission after invitations to tender were posted on the Sell to Wales website
The Ysgol Pontfadog Feasibility Study & Recommendation Report is downloadable from this website’s News blog or the dedicated Ysgol Pontfadog page. It can also be obtained in digital format by emailing the Clerk firstname.lastname@example.org. A physical copy of the Report is available to view at the Pontfadog Post Office but may not be removed. The Appendices document in digital format is available upon request from the Clerk.
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