North Wales Housing Association & West Rhyl Community Land Trust
The driving force behind this scheme is the West Rhyl Housing Co-operative, Wales’s first urban rental housing co-op, formed by North Wales Housing and West Rhyl Community Land Trust (WRCLT).
The brief asked for options investigating the re-use and remodelling of 11-33 Abbey Street, a block of terraced properties that had been modified and extended over the years to their detriment. Many original details had been removed and replaced with uPVC shop frontages, unconventional outriggers had been built to the rear, and the once 3 storey houses had been converted in the Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s), resulting in cramped high density housing. The site was acquired by Denbighshire County Council as part of a wider redevelopment masterplan for the area and made available to North Wales Housing to develop to provide affordable general needs accommodation. The Abbey Street site is at the heart of the town’s West End and overlooks the Gerddi Heulwen public green space which opened last year.
As some of the existing properties were deemed in too poor a condition to redevelop, the site was partially cleared to allow the construction of 7 new three bedroom terraced family homes with private gardens and parking to the rear. The new houses have been sympathetically designed and detailed to complement the existing character of the site and reflect the historical characteristics of Rhyl’s architecture. The remaining properties are being taken back to how they would have looked in the early 1900’s, refurbished to provide a community hub for WRCLT and the residents and a shop on the ground floor, with one and two bedroom flats above.
The scheme is an important community project, providing family homes built to a high specification and standard of energy efficient. The tenants will become members of the housing co-op, allowing them to become involved in managing their properties and giving them a voice on future plans and projects in the area.