A RETIREMENT flat intended to house older people struggling to find a home is to be sold, with a council receiving a £70,000 cut from the sale. 

Planning permission was granted for 38 retirement flats at Riverside Court in Monmouth Road, Abergavenny, in 2014, with a condition that two flats would be reserved for an elderly person, or an elderly person nominated by Monmouthshire County Council who has been unable to find a home on the open market. 

But the council hasn’t been able to find someone to occupy one of the flats.

A change to the original section 106 legal agreement that put the condition in place has now been agreed so that its private owner can sell the flat – but will have to pass on 30 per cent of its value to the council as an affordable housing contribution. 

A report to the council’s planning committee said that would amount to a £70,500 contribution to the council’s affordable housing fund based on the current market value of that flat being £235,000. 

Mitchell Troy and Trellech Conservative Jayne McKenna told the committee she agreed with the proposal and said: “Personally I can’t see much to debate on this.  

“We have a housing shortage and it has been empty since it was built, lets get it back in stock and occupied.” 

Council planning officer Andrew Jones said the flat has previously been occupied but its most recent “marketing attempt” had been unsuccessful, prompting the request to change the legal agreement. 

Head of planning Craig O’Connor said how the £70,500 is used could be reported back to the committee after Wyesham independent Emma Bryn asked if councillors could be updated on how the money is used for affordable housing.