Penrhys in Rhondda could welcome £40m of investment through new housing project
- 19 May 2012
- From the section Wales
Plans have been submitted for a multi-million pound regeneration project in Penrhys, Rhondda.
Over 100 affordable homes could be built as part of a project which could generate £40m for the local community.
Profits from home sales will be re-invested back into the community and developers hope to use local workers and suppliers throughout the process.
No government funding is needed and a decision on the first planning phase is expected in August.
The demolition of two-thirds of Penrhys estate in the early 1990s left 11 acres of land derelict and surplus demand for social housing.
RCT housing (RCT), who took control of all social housing in the area in 2007, are working in partnership with social housing regeneration specialists Independent Regeneration on the project.
If plans are accepted, RCT will donate the derelict land to Independent Regeneration, who will sell plots to developers at below market rates.
The donation of the land will kick-start a process which involves no government funding, as developers buying the cheap land pass savings on to local buyers.
A spokesperson for RCT housing said: "This type of idea is unique in the UK.
"We are trying to create a sustainable community in Penrhys.
"The big thing about this is work will be done regenerating one of the worst hit economic areas without the need to call on the Welsh government.
"Work will be done bit by bit, so we won't have a situation where we effectively create a ghost town. The houses will be built in small groups, so if the demand turned out not to be there, we won't have built housing which isn't needed."
If given the go-ahead, the development would be rolled out over five years and a care home could also be built into more detailed plans.
Profits generated from home sales would be re-invested into projects in Penrhys and the partnership hopes local people feel the benefits of the project from the start of the the building process.
Ian Robinson, chief executive of Independent Regeneration, said: "We want local people to get the maximum benefit from this project. The use of local labour, local suppliers and local professional services means that much more of the financial benefits would circulate around the community."
Only 12% of the 350 homes currently on the site are privately owned.
Steven Trythall, who was brought up in the area is now project design manager for Independent Regeneration, hopes to make home ownership accessible for residents while benefiting the all round community.
He said: "Since the de-population in the 1990s and demolition, there's a core community left here now who want to live in the area.
"We are looking to provide a ladder for residents, so they can move from social housing, to shared ownership accommodation and onto privately owned and care housing."
Local resident Kath Lewis said young people were eager to see the development get the go-ahead and it would give a lot of people a lot of hope for the future.
A decision on the outline plans for the development is expected from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council in August.
If successful, a more detailed application will be required ahead work starting in the spring of 2013.