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‘ROGUE’ BUILDER BUYS COUNCIL PLOTS

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Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 12.17.02 A BUILDING company which was the subject of an investigation by Y Byd Y Bedwar bought three building plots from the local authority in November 2015, the Herald can reveal. 

NBA Developments Ltd, owned by Neal Atkins, was the subject of the Welsh-language current affairs programme after the company left owners of homes bought from the builder with unfinished pavements and without street lighting.

NBA Developments Ltd was sold three plots of land at Teras Ty Newydd Cross Hands for £105,000. The plots came with outline planning permission for the construction of houses.

In the course of the Byd y Bedwar investigation into NBA Developments, programme makers interviewed then head of the council’s planning department, Eifion Bowen.

When asked by Byd y Bedwar reporter Gwynne Loader whether he would be happy to buy a house without street lighting, Mr Bowen replied: “No.”

He also excused the Council’s conduct in continuing to grant NBA planning permission despite its failures on previous developments, saying ‘different systems’ were involved. In the programme, the County Council claimed that they were powerless to stop the company from doing the same again.

Mr Bowen also told Byd y Bedwar that: ‘There is nothing the council can do to influence a developer who doesn’t finish the work so the estate is adopted by the County Council. As the law stands they are not required to offer the work for adoption under the Highways Act.”

The programme revealed that the developer had received public money in the forms of loans totalling almost half a million pounds, which it repaid, but uncovered a series of bad debts owed to subcontractors.

An internal Council email suggested sanctions through the planning department refusing to issue further planning permissions to NBA until his developments were made good. However, the authority took the view at that time that the issues that arose were between the unfortunate purchasers and the company.

The Welsh Government say that planning authorities have the power that is needed to ensure work is completed.

Nia Griffith MP said: “I know residents who are still having to pick their way carefully over an unmade road often without street lighting in order to take their rubbish to the end of the road because the council will not send their vehicles down an unmade, unadopted road.

“If a programme like Y Byd Y Bedwar can’t encourage NBA to behave better and to put things right for these residents I see little hope of it doing a better job in the future.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 12.17.23“It worries me that the County Council knowing the enormous hassle they have had from residents about the fact these estates have not been brought up to standard with lighting and surfacing and then to the same company go and purchase more land is absolutely shocking. All that I can see now happening is that NBA has the outline planning and another estate will be there with residents fighting for work to be completed. It seems to me that the County should be looking into this more carefully.

“It is an obvious name. It is not Mr. Jones is it. They should have known they have officers spending an enormous amount of time and public money chasing NBA and trying to get the work done. It seems a complete waste of public money allowing the company to buy land from the council with planning meaning that we will have same problems in the future. I would like to see the company putting things right for the residents that have problems at the moment.”

The Herald asked the Council for a detailed statement as to the process that led to NBA Developments’ acquisition of the plots from the authority and what sureties the Council has received from him both in relation to the satisfactory completion of works at Ty Newydd Terrace and the other sites it has ‘developed’ around Carmarthenshire.

A Council spokesperson told us: “Outline planning permission (application number W/28982) was granted in December 2013 for land off Ty Newydd Terrace.

“In November 2015 the Council sold that same area of land with outline planning permission (application number W/28982) to NBA Developments Ltd at Cross Hands. The access to the site was already constructed as part of the adjoining Redrow Development. For small sites of this nature, it is not usual to include conditions relating to the timing of development, and this will be a matter for the purchaser to determine.

“The Council is currently in receipt of a Reserved Matters application (W/33078) for three dwellings at land off Ty Newydd Terrace and Mr Neil Atkins is the applicant/developer. This application covers the same site as the outline permission referred to above and therefore the land sold by the Council.

“The reserved matters application is not subject to any S106 contributions or affordable housing provisions; the outline consent pre-dated the Caeau Mynydd Mawr SPG contribution requirements.”

In response we asked the Council, whether it had any comment on past problems with NBA Developments’ projects.

At the time of going to press we had received no reply.

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Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities

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WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or Facebook.com/WWUtilities.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands

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OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Witness appeal after car is stolen and burnt out

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating the theft of a car from a property in Lando Road, Burry Port, which was later found burnt out in Pembrey Country Park.

Officers are appealing for witnesses to the theft of the blue Ssangyong Rexton, which took place sometime between 5pm on Friday, 11th November, and 9am on Saturday, 12th November, and would like to speak to anyone who may have information or CCTV or dashcam footage.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Quote reference: DP-20221112-109

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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