A £3 million development of 18 apartments will help tackle the dire shortage of housing in Rhyl, say a housing association.
The Tŷ Dyffryn scheme by Cartrefi Conwy has breathed new life into the derelict site of a former dairy in Victoria Road that was demolished to make way for the gleaming new four-storey building.
Construction work is nearing completion and priority will be given to local people in most need when it comes to allocating the tenancies.
David Kelsall, Cartrefi’s Assistant Director of Development, said: “It is a landmark building on a tight, complex brownfield site, which is going to provide much needed safe, warm homes for people.
“Importantly, the money from this £3 million project has been largely recycled locally because the contractors, NWPS Construction, who are based in Rhyl, have used local labour and local suppliers. They have put money back into the local economy.
“This redevelopment could not have happened without the strategic support of Denbighshire County Council and Welsh Government funding.
He added: “There is an enormous need for this type of social housing. Priority will be given to local residents with the allocation process being in favour of local residents in most housing need. This development will make a big difference to their lives.”
“We now need more of the same because there is still a huge shortage of accommodation like this.”
“Cartrefi Conwy are always looking for new sites, particularly in Conwy and Denbighshire, which will give us the opportunity to work with SMEs and the wider supply chain.”
The main contractors, NWPS Construction, could not be more local because they are based just around the corner in Marsh Road
Managing Director Matt Hughes said: “It’s been a challenging build , not least because it was interrupted by Covid.
“On top of that we were building on sand with a metre-thick layer of peat so the concrete piles went down 16 metres.
“The whole building sits on a steel frame with concrete planks on the first floor, with a timber frame above that.
“It’s essentially a four storey building with a 21 space, secure car park on what would have been the ground floor.
“I am a local lad so I am very proud of what we have achieved in bringing new life into this derelict site which will benefit the local community. I believe we’ve ended up with something really special.
“We have used local suppliers and local labour. I think everybody working on the site comes from within a 15 mile radius, from Rhyl and the surrounding area. The development has provided a boost for the local economy.”
Both NWPS Construction and Cartrefi Conwy worked closely with the primary school next door, Ysgol Emmanuel.
As part of the payback to the school for the disruption, a sensory garden has been created for the pupils who were also given talks on health and safety, with posters designed by them being featured on the hoarding surrounding the site during construction..
Headteacher Rona Jones said: “The building is lovely and this is housing that is definitely needed in Denbighshire.
“Being next door has involved some challenges, with access to the site through our car park, so it’s really nice to see it finished. It’s a big improvement on what was here before.
“We have worked collaboratively with NWPS Construction and Cartrefi Conwy and the sensory garden for our children with additional learning needs was part of the community benefit.
“It’s better than we even thought it was going to be and we timetable the children to go in the garden for sensory breaks, so it’s used all through the day. They connect with nature and it’s very calming.
“NWPS Construction did the building work and B&Q kindly donated the plants – lavender, honeysuckle and things like that.”
Site Manager Paul Barrett was delighted to have the opportunity to work on the development because he’s an ex-pupil of Ysgol Emmanuel.
He said: “It’s a brilliant school and I’m really proud to be part of a project that’s giving back to the community.”
Tony Ward, the Corporate Director for the Economy and Environment at Denbighshire County Council, said: “We are delighted to support this new development by Cartrefi Conwy.
“We welcome the opening of Tŷ Dyffryn, not only because it will provide high quality, much needed new homes but it will also support the sustainability of the local community in Rhyl.”