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Tiers Cross: Housing estate to be demolished and replaced

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A HOUSING development in Tiers Cross, which has reached the end of its usable life, is to be demolished and replaced with new housing to better meet local families’ needs.
That was the decision made by Cabinet Member for Housing Pat Davies at an Executive Board decision meeting last Thursday (Jun 13).

Tudor Place is a small estate of houses on the edge of Tiers Cross. It is unique in that it is the sole estate where all properties are still in Council stock and none have been sold under the Right to Buy.

The houses are of a prefabricated design pioneered in the years following the end of the Second World War. 26,000 of them were built across the UK to meet the need for rural housing stock during the 40s and early 50s.

Part of the Emergency Factory Made housing programme, the homes’ frame is made from concrete columns reinforced with tubing recycled from the canvas tilt frames of military trucks. A series of shiplap style concrete panels, tied back to the columns, form the external envelope.

At the time they were built, the houses were intended to last for around 30 years. They are now long past their end-dates.

The astronomical costs of their upkeep were noted as long ago as 1983 when the price of Airey Houses’ maintenance was the subject of a parliamentary debate.

In order to upgrade the properties to meet the Halifax certificate standard extensive work to each of the properties would be required with estimated totals for each property of £99,000.

Refurbishing and upgrading similar properties in England has proven similarly expensive. Pricy cosmetic changes made at high cost in the mid-1980s in order to lengthen the properties’ lives have run into the same problem as that confronting PCC at Tudor Place; namely that the steel tubing used in the properties’ support has corroded.

Representatives from Housing and Building Maintenance met with the residents from the estate to explore the option of redeveloping the site.

Residents raised concerns and requested a follow-up meeting to explore options for the site’s development.

While architectural drawings were being arranged, inspectors from the Building Maintenance department inspected the structure of the properties namely the steel pillars and found that there was significant rusting at the base of the pillars.

Matters will now move forward through the normal planning process.

While the estate is being redeveloped, residents will move to other County Council properties and, in the case of three households, to ateb homes nearby.

Had the Council been able to refit the properties, it would have incurred the costs of storage of residents’ furniture and other property; arrangements have been made to meet those costs.

By law, where the Council requires its tenants to give up their properties in similar circumstances, it must pay compensation. The Council will pay £5,900 at the time the development is finalised and residents return to their home

Taking into account the length of time required for the planning process, requisite surveys, design, and building of the new house, the schedule is for completion of the rebuild in under two years.

The Council will also meet the school transport costs of the families affected.

One resident told The Herald that while they would miss their old house, they were happy with the proposed location of their temporary accommodation and their family was looking forward to returning to a new home in the village.

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New Eco Feature For Haverfordwest

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Plans have been submitted for a ‘living green wall’ to be planted in the centre of Haverfordwest in a bid to enhance local biodiversity and wildlife.

The green wall would be situated alongside the river opposite Glan-yr-Afon, the town’s library and cultural centre, and planted with 25 species of native plants including ferns, grasses, flowers and wild herbs including basil, sage and clary.

As well as providing an important habitat for pollinators, the wall would also be an attractive natural feature in its own right, says Sara Morris, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Development Plans and Conservation Manager.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to re-introduce nature in the heart of Haverfordwest,” she said. “As with all planting, it will take some time for the plants to grow and flourish but given time it will look very attractive.”

The maintenance of the wall, which is scheduled for installation towards the end of October, would be carried out by a team of volunteers. New benches made from Welsh slate would also be installed to encourage residents and visitors to enjoy spending time in the area.

The green wall is part of the Cleddau Reaches partnership project which forms one of the priorities in the Haverfordwest Regeneration framework.

The Cleddau Reaches partners are Pembrokeshire County Council, the Bridge Meadow Trust, Haverfordwest Town Council, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Haverfordwest Kayak Club.

Pembrokeshire College and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority have also supported the project.

The aim is to improve and enhance the rights of way network in and around Haverfordwest and in particular, around the Western Cleddau, through several different inter-linked schemes.

Grant funding of approximately £250,000 has been provided by the NRW, Haverfordwest Town Council and the Landfill Disposals Tax Community Scheme.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, says the project’s focus on the river follows recognition that for too long, it has been an under-utilised resource despite being one of the town’s key natural assets.

“The Cleddau Reaches project brings together many ideas which the community has put forward over the last 20 years,” he said.

“As well as boosting biodiversity, the project forms part of the wider package of investments we are bringing forward to support Haverfordwest Town Centre.

“This administration is determined to revive the fortunes of the County Town, transforming Haverfordwest Town Centre from a traditional retail centre that’s being left behind into a vibrant leisure destination where residents and visitors alike want to spend their time.”

Some of the work currently taking place as part of the Cleddau Reaches project includes new riverbank paths near the Bridge Meadow with plans to create a new footbridge connecting to the Old Mill Grounds.

Other plans include creating habitats for sand-martins, otters and lampreys upriver, creating a trail linking up with the Town Council’s Priory Saltings project, and installing five interpretation boards along the route describing the flora, fauna and history of the local area.

The green wall planning application is currently registered with Pembrokeshire County Council for determination.

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Homes in Pembrokeshire can get free boilers and insulation

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PEMBROKESHIRE HERALD is teaming up with Blackburn based company Euro Insulation, who are working on a Pembrokeshire County Council backed energy scheme called the ECO: Help to Heat programme.

The scheme intends to utilise government funding for the reduction of fuel poverty within the county.

The council says that it has worked for many years to improve homes locally, and is keen for as many households to sign up as possible.

The local authority is working with ECO energy installers.

Funding is only available for private owner occupiers and private rented tenants. Qualification of flexible eligibility in Pembrokeshire will be determined by certain criteria.

Grants are available to a range of households including those with someone aged over 60, with a child under 5, and homes with children in primary or secondary school, or with a pregnant mother.

The Pembrokeshire Herald is letting as many homeowners know as possible about the scheme and has a call centre open to take queries on behalf of Euro Insulation who will be doing the work.

The aim is to reduce C02 emissions and make homes more energy efficient in Wales.

They are with the Welsh Assembly Government to show homeowners how they can get a brand-new boiler, internal wall insulation and room-in-roof insulation

The funding is only available until December.

To be considered for a FREE boiler or INSULATION call our call centre on 01437 70 70 70

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Fishguard: Armed police presence at Fishguard port

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ARMED officers from Dyfed-Powys Police were on scene at the port in Fishguard this morning (Sept 18).

Border Force and the RNLI were involved in the operation, which reportedly involved a vessel being escorted into the harbour.

Details of the incident are still unfolding, and the police have been contacted for a statement.

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