Carmarthen Planning Appeal
Wales Homes for Veterans, run by charity Alabaré Christian Care & Support, welcomed last week’s decision by the Welsh Planning Inspectorate to approve our application for the change of use to a property in Lon Hir, Carmarthen. The Inspector’s decision gave us the green light to open a new Home for Veterans in this location. This was as part of an expansion of our successful initiative through which we have supported more than 300 homeless Veterans over the last six years.
We are pleased with the Inspector’s decision and the positive outcome of our appeal. We have been convinced throughout the planning process that this property and location offer an ideal home for Veterans who have fallen on hard times. The Inspector agreed with us that this house and this road provide a suitable and appropriate location in which to house homeless Veterans and decided the appeal in our favour.
Despite winning the appeal, our charity has today made the decision not to proceed with their purchase of the home in Lon Hir. Our Chief Executive, Andrew Lord, explains why we have done so...
“In all our homes our key priority has always been the welfare and care of homeless and vulnerable Veterans. Part of the support we provide is to help them to live in a community, integrating and positively contributing to life in their neighbourhood.
We have spent a lot of time talking to people living in Lon Hir and have met people with strong feelings both for and against opening a Home for Veterans in their road. The positive opportunities offered by this house and location led us to pursue our planning application. Despite our reassurances and 6 year track record of successfully supporting Veterans in communities across the South West, we have been unable to win around those immediate neighbours who have continually felt extremely negative towards our proposal and who have made it very clear that they would not welcome our staff or residents, nor would they wish to join us in any Community Forum. We are very sad that we have been unable to convince these neighbours of the merits of our proposal and benefits that it could bring to everyone in this community.
It is therefore with a sense of sorrow that our Board of Trustees have today taken the decision not to proceed with the purchase of this property. Given the exceptional and continuing negativity of a small number of immediate neighbours, we no longer believe it will be in the best interests of our staff or potential residents to live at this address. Our Trustees stand by the decision to take this planning application through to a successful appeal, as they do not wish the circumstances of this change in our plans to have a negative impact on the future development of Supported Housing for vulnerable adults in Wales. Ultimately we believe that Veterans should be afforded the same opportunities to live successful and fulfilling lives as anybody else.
Due to the length of time it has taken to complete this planning process, and in recognition of the needs of homeless Veterans in Carmarthen, six months ago we rented a number of Wales Homes for Veterans in the town. We are delighted that this has enabled us to help those who are vulnerable and in need of a home and our support. We will continue to support Veterans in these homes, and will be looking to open Homes for Veterans in other areas in the near future."