PLANS have been submitted by Powys County Council to build 32 one-bedroom flats in Newtown.

The scheme is earmarked for the site of the former Robert Owen House at Park Lane in Newtown, and all the flats are to be affordable homes.

The site is one of several plots of land owned by Powys County Council that was transferred over form the property department and farm estate to the housing service in 2020 as part of a bid to build 250 homes by 2023.

READ MORE: Robert Owen: one of Wales' greatest political icons

Agent Dylan Green of Asbri planning Ltd explained the proposal in a planning statement. “The brownfield site is owned by the local authority and was recently transferred to the housing service after being declared surplus to requirements.

“As the development is being proposed by Powys Housing, 100 per cent of the properties will be built as affordable housing, determined by the identified local need.”

The National Wales: The former social services offices, which were demolished in 2021.The former social services offices, which were demolished in 2021.

Mr Green explained that the local need is overwhelmingly for one-bedroom flats.

Data shows that in July 2021, when a pre application consultation on the proposals was taking place, there were 317 applicants on the Powys housing register who wanted a one-bedroom property in Newtown.

The register also showed 137 applicants for two-bedroom properties with a preference for a house rather than a flat, 50 for a three-bedroom property, 24 for a four-bedroom property and two applied for a five-bedroom property.

Mr Green said: “This is by far the greatest requirement in the area.

“The redevelopment of this brownfield site will allow for much-needed delivery of one-bed affordable flats, thus reducing the overall requirement slightly.

“The site is afforded 32. parking spaces, along the front of the properties, in accordance with parking standards which advocates one space per bedroom.

“In order to promote sustainable movement and active travel principles, three bike stores to house bikes associated with each property is also provided.”

The National Wales: How the flats could look.How the flats could look.

According to the documents, the site is near the town centre and has good links to schools, shops and transport link are in walking distance.

In the summer of 2019, it emerged that Robert Owen House that had offices used by social services staff as well as supported housing had been closed due to a broken boiler.

As the boiler could not be fixed, staff were moved out to work elsewhere

The redundant building was eventually demolished in April 2021.

A decision on the application is expected by May 6.

As the application has been made by the council itself it could be decided by councillors on the Powys planning committee.

But this depends on whether the application is judged to be a “major” one and should be decided by councillors.