A housing association has unveiled a new £1.5 million affordable housing scheme as part of plans to regenerate Colwyn Bay.
The former doctor’s surgery in Pwllcrochan Avenue has been converted and extended by Cartrefi Conwy to create 14 apartments eight with two bedrooms and six with one bedroom.
The property, previously called Rhoslan, has now been renamed as Tŷ Llwyfen which means Elm House in English.
The flats are available to people who are in work and earning between £16,000 and £45,000, either individually or as a couple.
They are let at an “intermediate rent” which means the rent is typically around 20 per cent lower than the local market rate.
The aim is to enable people, including key local workers to save for a deposit so they can in time buy their own home.
The scheme is part of Cartrefi Conwy’s £40 million strategy to create 250 new homes by 2020.
It was officially opened by Cllr Liz Roberts, Conwy County Borough Council’s lead member for adult social care, community wellbeing and housing.
The flats will be marketed by the HAWS lettings agency which is a partnership between Cartrefi Conwy and Conwy Council.
Cartrefi Conwy Chief Executive Andrew Bowden said: “This is an important development that was only made possible thanks to Conwy Country Borough Council and Welsh Government support of £450,000 Social Housing Grant.
“It’s fitting in Cartrefi Conwy’s 10th anniversary year we have so far made 47 new homes available for rent with a further 20 anticipated to be ready very soon and up to 200 in the pipeline for the future.
“Colwyn Bay’s glory days were fading into history thanks perhaps to the A55 which means fewer people visit the town but we are contributing to the town’s rebirth by providing important affordable housing.
“What we have achieved has given this property a new lease of life, this amazing late 19th century building can now be enjoyed by future generations.”
He added: “We now offer a full and competitive lettings agency service through HAWS offering a service management and maintenance service. We find suitable tenants, manage the tenancy and supply the landlord with rent.
“I’m particularly proud to have yet again delivered an amazing property thanks to our partnership with Brenig Construction and Matthew Jones Architects of Deganwy.
“The finish and standard of work is incredible and I’m also proud of our relationship with St Joseph’s Primary School who we worked closely with on issues such as building site safety.
“I think we have proved through this project that the regeneration of Colwyn Bay is a very viable concept.”
Cllr Roberts said: “This is property is now meeting a need and as a council we are delighted to endorse this scheme. I am certainly impressed with what I have seen.
“It’s important council members are able to get a broader understanding of intermediate housing needs. We generally know a great deal about social housing but perhaps intermediate housing issues slip under the carpet.
“This is new accommodation for key workers such as health professionals, teachers and so forth. It’s almost as if the building has gone full circle. As a former doctor’s surgery, it’s now going to play a part in supporting people and improving the health of the area.”
Huw Evans OBE, the Chair of Cartrefi Conwy said: “This is a fantastic redevelopment which will really benefit Colwyn Bay moving forward by providing much needed accommodation.
“The building has been completed to a very high specification. The architectural design is superb and it has been finished to a very high standard.”
Matthew Jones of Matthew Jones Architects Deganwy said: “The conversion has not been an easy task. We had to be particularly sensitive to the fact that the building sits in a conservation area while fulfilling our brief to maximise the available space and density.”
Howard Vaughan, Brenig Group Managing Director added: “This property represents a fantastic achievement and one we are immensely proud of. It’s is a further example of our partnership working with Cartrefi Conwy.
“It has been a 12-month project using mainly local labour and suppliers. I’m particularly pleased with the finish and our partnership working alongside other agencies and businesses.”