PLANS to convert a former Brynmawr care home into 14 apartments have been approved despite the local authority missing out on nearly £29,000 in ‘community cash’.

Crawshay House will be transformed as part of a larger residential development on the land in Greenland Road.

But the developer, R&M Williams, refused to accept a section 106 agreement with Blaenau Gwent council as it would make the scheme ‘unviable’.

The flats proposed would be a mixture one and two-bed units served by 17 car parking spaces on the site.

The building, which has been vacant for several years, would be split into three sections each served by designated entrance lobbies.

Blaenau Gwent council’s planning committee granted planning permission, but some members took issue with the developers refusing to offer community funding.

A section 106 is a legal agreement between an applicant and the local planning authority which is used to mitigate the impact of a new development on the surrounding area, such as pupil places in local schools.

The council’s education department had asked for £28,842 to address the lack of outdoor sport and play facilities in Brynmawr.

The meeting heard that paying out such a sum would make the scheme unviable for R&W Williams.

With the apartments being offered largely catering for single occupants, it was said that the development would have very little impact on schools.

Councillor Wayne Hodgins said: “This is one of two significant developments in our borough without section 106 monies coming forward. That’s very alarming.

“Developers should be given us something, however small it may be. You also have to consider this is only phase one of the site being developed.”

Councillor David Wilkshire added: “We’ve had developers in the past where we’ve stuck with a section 106 agreement, they didn’t and they walked away in the end.

“I’m mindful this can happen but at the end of the day there should be benefits going back into the community.”

But Councillor Bernard Willis agreed with the developers, saying: “I think section 106 agreements are a bad thing for this area above the snowline. We’re just driving developers away.

“With every new property there’s possibly £2,000 in council tax coming in so that’s a big thing for the future.

“We’ve got be wary of these agreements, let’s not be too greedy.”