Public Meeting - Summary
We held the first Community Council organised Public meeting at the Legion on Monday 28th January 2019. We were delighted with the attendance, with a packed room and lots of engagement, questions and discussions. Villagers heard from a number of different Community Councillors about developments, improvements and change around the village. This is a summary of what was presented. If you have any questions please get in touch.
Introducing the Community Council
We introduced the Council and its role, starting by celebrating the success of the last year and the unsung heroes who pick litter, plant bulbs and volunteer on our many local events.
Youth Club / Community Centre Building
The Community Council are in advanced discussions with Flintshire County Council about taking over the management of the building. There is some funding in place for the operating costs and, assuming it is used for the benefit of the whole community, there are grants and other funds for improvements.
There have been a number of suggested uses for the building - sports and fitness sessions, dementia friendly film screenings, children’s discos, a permanent lending library for books and DVDs with internet access, monthly afternoon tea sessions and so on.
Discussions have also been had with the War Memorial Institute Committee about added the main hall as an additional ‘bookable’ space and discussions are ongoing about the future of the Scout Hut next door.
To make it work, it needs volunteers to commit to a small amount of time - weekly, monthly - to open up, tidy books, serve tea, paint - make it run!
If you are interested in volunteering, please get in touch.
War Memorial Institute
The WMI Committee, working with volunteers, have prepared plans for the extension and improvement of the building. The plans can be viewed online here and your comments and suggestions are very welcome. Once the plans are finalised, they will he submitted for planning permission, and if approved, the hope is for the work to be done this year. Funding is in place (from the Taylor Wimpey development) under the responsibility of the Community Council. Local trades people and businesses will be encouraged to quote for work.
The Community Council are working with Flintshire County Council to improve the drainage on the Melwood Close play area prior to the installation of new play equipment - ideally wooden climbing structures - this year. Local residents will be consulted once the draft plans are drawn up. The plan is also to plant fruit trees around the site.
The Community Council are recommending a footpath / cycle path is constructed to enable active travel between Penyffordd and Broughton (Airbus and retail). Flintshire have been receptive to the idea and the plans are still under review as we seek funding.
The Community Council are planning to re-instate (through signage) a circular walk from the village, down to Bramley Lane (Kinnerton) of approximately 4 miles. Details would be published digitally and potentially in a leaflet.
Sports Facility Abbots Lane
Penyffordd Lions Football team have been instrumental in bringing forward a plan to install semi-permanent changing room facilities to serve the Abbots Lane sports pitch. The pitch and changing facilities would be available for any community group to use and are supported by the school head and governors as well as Flintshire CC and the Community Council.
The existing Community Transport service to Buckley will be reducing in frequency but a new additional service will be starting soon, from Min Y Ddoll to Broughton. More details to follow when the live date has been confirmed.
The Community Council continue to lobby for improved bus services with Flintshire CC, Arriva and Lynx as well as improved rail services from Transport for Wales.
Traffic / Highways
There are so many traffic issues around the village at the moment that we deferred this topic to a later date. Specific consultations around the proposed Co-op, parking outside the Spar and the Legion are all in consultation with affected residents or planning at the moment.
The new school on Abbots Lane is progressing well and is on schedule for the September term. The traffic solutions are not yet in place. Permission has now been granted for the new pedestrian crossing on Rhos Road. The suggested one way system has not been adopted by Flintshire CC and the remainder of the school’s traffic management plan is in the hands of the school to implement.
Old School (Penymynydd Road)
There is no official plans for the school site once it goes out of use at the end of the summer term. Flintshire CEO has made assurances that the plan would be to hand the site over to community open-space (there is a significant shortfall of open-space against recommendations and a real shortage of places where people can just walk without wearing wellies or push a buggy or take a wheelchair. The grounds also form an essential part of the annual village carnival.
Our understanding from Flintshire Education department is that, whilst both Castell Alun and Elfed schools are running over capacity right now, no child in Penyffordd / Penymynydd, in the normal intake, has been refused a place at their preferred school so far. They are keen to emphasise that you get your applications in on time so that your child / children are considered before the remaining places are allocated to other areas / children. We have been told that Castell Alun cannot / will not be extended and therefore there will be no increase in capacity there in the future. Elfed has spare classroom capacity and so is likely to have more places available in the future. The way school places are allocated is ultimately down to the school which is the shortest travel distance door to door and there is a line across our village where Elfed is closer than Castell Alun - it is therefore inevitable, eventually, that children will more typically be split between the two schools. We continue to discuss the allocations and capacities with Flintshire CC.
Proposal Co-operative Retail Store
The plans for the proposed Co-op on the Millstone bowling green were shared. There were mixed views with some in support and many concerned about the danger to children, including potential pollution from the car park. The Community Council support the application because of the additional shop capacity, release of traffic from the Spar, creation of jobs, more choice for those dependent on public transport. The Council have concerns about traffic safety and are advocating a traffic safe zone past the playground, Youth Club, Scout Hut and Co-op. The application is open for comments now.
The installation of the new mill is underway. There is no longer any monitoring of the site in the village or independently. It is important to report problems - with noise, dust or breathing difficulties - to Natural Resources Wales - or contact us and we will pass it on. There is a liaison committee which the Community Councillors attend to discuss ongoing issues with Hanson Cement.
Flintshire Local Development Plan
The draft plan is expected to be published in March 2019 and will include the proposed sites allocated for development. Following the three planning approvals on Rhos Road, Hawarden Road and Chester Road, we are not expecting any more in the plan. However, we are cautious because there will be a gap between the draft plan being published and the LDP being adopted in mid to late 2020.
The scheme for 5 houses on the old Clinic site is finally moving and it is hoped will commence development this year.
Vounog Hill / Rhos Road (South) Retirement Apartments
Both of these schemes were refused planning permission by Flintshire planning committee. The developers have the right to appeal, though we have not heard anything yet.
The Dobshill scheme is all ready to be started with work not expected before spring 2019.
We have an ongoing dialogue with Redrow and have agreed a number of small concessions with them on working hours, hedgehog runs and bat boxes. The advertising sign is being moved to the correct position now. We have expressed concern that Welsh Water have approved a scheme to route the foul drains via Wellhouse and through the village rather than directly to the treatment plant on Lower-Mountain Road.
We have recently met the developers of this site. There is a new plan layout with different houses from that approved, otherwise it is largely the same.
The Rhos Road scheme remains in planning and we are meeting the developer in the next week to discuss details. Once again there is a query with Welsh Water approving the foul drain to route via Ffordd Derwyn.
We always welcome questions and comments - please get in touch.