Monday, 20 June 2016

Victorian values on Queen Victoria Road

Update 26 June

Following the withdrawal of the bedsit application, Mr Rees has now told the press that he is seeking to negotiate a lower sale price for the former YWCA hostel with the mainly elderly trustees who are said to be desperate to offload the building.

Rather than bedsits, the two adjoining buildings would be converted into six or seven self-contained flats. Concerned local residents, of whom there are a lot, question the feasibility of packing so much accommodation into such a limited space, and are suggesting four or a maximum of five units of a decent specification.

Mr Rees has rejected that idea, telling objectors that the finance for such a development is not available.

This one is set to run.

Update 21 June

As Anon notes below, the application has now been withdrawn. Residents will now have to wait to find out what comes next.


More development news from Llanelli where, following recent coverage of Meryl's latest grandiose plans for an out-of-town wellness village to benefit the private healthcare industry, residents are contemplating proposals to turn the former YWCA building on Queen Victoria Road into bedsit accommodation.

There have already been a number of objections to application S/33622, and a week ago concerned locals were invited to take a look at the building and to have the plans explained to them. They were somewhat taken aback to be told that tenants would be charged £275 a month, with up to 29 people sharing four bathrooms and a single kitchen.

Queen Victoria Road was once the sort of residential street people aspired to move to, and the creation of yet more bedsits in the town centre while expensive new builds spring up along the coast and the flood plain sit uncomfortably with the county council's claims that it is regenerating the town centre.

Ghettoisation is the word that springs to mind.

The application was submitted by an agent acting for a Mr and Mrs Rees of Bridgend, and it turns out that Mr Rees is none other than Tony Rees who made a memorable appearance at a meeting of the Parc Howard Association last year.

You can read an account of that event here, where Mr Rees said that he was representing a company called Loca Ventures which wanted to turn the mansion gifted to the people of Llanelli into a luxury hotel. Part of his charm offensive included threats of legal armageddon against the press and Cllr Bill Thomas.

What followed was a swirling mist of accusations and counter-claims, with Loca Ventures claiming that it had held extensive talks with senior county council figures. Cllr Thomas had obtained a big, fat document bearing the county council's logo which appeared to confirm Mr Rees's claims. Meryl's old Ukip chum, Ken Rees, had held secret talks, and needless to say, the Duchess of Trimsaran popped up here, there and everywhere in the storm, including an accusation that residents had scuppered a bid for funding with the Lottery.

At one point there were even suggestions that failure to turn Parc Howard into a swanky hotel would put the kybosh on Robbie Savage's long delayed plans to build a hotel at Ffos Las, a project strongly backed by that unlikely WAG, Meryl.

Strangely, press reports mentioning the golden haired pundit have disappeared from newspaper websites - at the instigation of Messrs Sue, Grabbit and Runne, it is alleged.

But all that twinkle-toed showbiz glitz and glamour is a million miles away from the vision for Queen Victoria Road.

Residents will no doubt have been hugely relieved to hear that bedsit tenants will all be vetted by an estate agent.


Jac o' the North, said...

I'm told that the usual suspects of the Swansea 'Homelessness' industry are supporting this application and it may even be a replacement for a similar establishment that failed in Swansea.

Whatever, the information I've seen, for planning application S/33622 talks of 14 bedsits and manager's accommodation. So it looks as if Tony Rees is going to cram in up to 29 tenants to maximise his profits.

But charging the tenants £275 a month looks very reasonable, so we can safely assume that the bulk of his income will come by other routes, but still from the public purse.

Anonymous said...

Cneifiwr, your influence should not be underestimated - the application was withdrawn today!