Conwy Housing Association’s £20m Vision for New Homes

A housing association has unveiled ambitious £20 million plans to build more than 300 new homes across North Wales, supporting hundreds of jobs.

12/04/16 Llanfairfechan. Cartefi Conwy Site. Pictured: Howard Vaughan (Brenig Construction), David Kelsall (Cartrefi Conwy) and Mike Roberts (Beech Developments).

As well as providing social housing, Cartrefi Conwy is now also building new and refurbishing affordable homes where the rents are 20 per cent less than the going market rate.

The news was revealed by David Kelsall, Cartrefi Conwy’s development and new business manager

Mr Kelsall was speaking at the site of their latest £3.4 million development in Llanfairfechan where more than 130 construction jobs, including three apprenticeships.

Cartrefi Conwy are building 28 new homes, including houses and apartments, around a landscaped cul-de-sac in Penmaenmawr Road.

Five of the properties will be available at an intermediate rent level which means rents will be 20 per cent cheaper than the current market rate in Conwy.

The intermediate rent properties on this development are aimed at people who do not qualify for traditional social housing but would struggle or are struggling to be able to buy or rent in the private sector.

The employment opportunities are being supported in partnership with Conwy County Borough Council and Welsh Government, with part funding coming from the Social Housing Grant.

Mr Kelsall said: “The Llanfairfechan scheme is part of our ambitious plans for the future and we have recently secured an additional £5 million from our funders to make our vision become a reality.

“We now have more than £20 million available for development as part of our five-year business plan.

“With additional grant funding this figure could virtually double and that could see us adding in excess of 300 new homes and housing nearly a 1,000 people.

“Our aim is to be the affordable housing developer of choice working with local authorities and developers across North Wales to deliver these much needed homes.”

Work on the Llanfairfechan development, which includes seven houses with two and three bedrooms, four cottage apartments featuring their own entrances and gardens plus a block of 17 one and two-bedroom apartments, is due to be completed by May next year.

The development is being carried out by Conwy-based Beech Developments working alongside Brenig Construction of Colwyn Bay who are managing the site and constructing the properties.

Mr Kelsall added: “Cartrefi Conwy is already well known for providing quality social housing but Penmaenmawr Road shows that’s not all we’re about. This development is a statement of our intent.

“All our present developments, including this one, feature intermediate tenure properties to help those trapped between social housing and private rentals.  This includes young professionals and key workers from the local area employed in essential jobs as health, caring, emergency services and education who may not be eligible for social housing.

“This project also perfectly demonstrates how we believe it is essential to work with local contractors and suppliers, not only to handle the construction itself but also to stimulate economic growth in the local area.

Matthew Gilmartin, Managing Director of Beech Developments, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Cartrefi Conwy in delivering these much-needed affordable homes.

“There’s a definite shortage of affordable homes in the county of Conwy and our partnership is helping to address that gap.

“We started work at Penmaenmawr Road on December 15 last year and the development is due for completion in May of 2017.

“What we are doing as a local company, with our partners in this development, is providing homes for our neighbours, providing jobs and skills training for local people. There is a severe housing shortage across the marketplace in Conwy but the need is acute in social housing and we are proud to be playing our part to address that.”

Howard Vaughan, Director of site managers Brenig Construction, said the project was a great opportunity for the firm.

He said: “This is something of a milestone for us as it’s the first residential scheme of this size we have worked on. It gives us the opportunity to grow our own business and to employ local people.