Cabinet Secretary visits affordable houses built from home grown timber

Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths was impressed when she visited Cwrt Rhos Fynach in Rhos on Sea, as it is one of the first of its kind to be built from home grown timber.

Cwrt Rhos Fynach (Monk’s Marsh Court) comprises 7 x 1 bed and 4 x 2 bed high quality apartments housing 26 residents.

The wood chosen for the £947,504 development, with £590,320 funding from the Welsh Government, is home grown Sitka spruce wood that comes from a sawmill in Newbridge-on-Wye, mid-Wales. 112 trees were used in total and 32 people were employed.

Wales & West Housing (WWH), supported by Conwy County Borough Council, contracted Williams Homes (Bala) Ltd to undertake the construction work.

Williams Homes have a strong track record in timber frame construction in North Wales. Owain Williams, of Williams Homes, said:

“We used a modern open panel timber frame construction made entirely from home grown timber.  An innovative feature of the construction is the use of a highly sustainable wood-fibre insulation board in an open surround. This helps to support good indoor air quality and improves thermal and acoustic performance.”

Anne Hinchey, Chief Executive of WWH, said:

“We’re excited to support the use of home grown timber in this development and hope that other businesses will follow this lead. As with all our projects, sustainability is a key consideration in design, delivery and use. By using home grown timber, we will be supporting our forestry industry, keeping the money in Wales and creating jobs for people in Wales.”

The Cabinet Secretary met Jason O’Brien, 37, who is a keen kayaker, so wanted to live near the sea. Jason said:

“I love the character and shape of the apartment, with its high ceilings making it feel spacious. I love living here, being able to look out to the sea.”

Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, said:

“It was great to see Wales & West Housing using timber grown in Wales for this new housing development.  Increasing the use of home grown timber will not only provide environmental benefits but will offer social, economic, and green growth opportunities.  It will also help to develop skills within the timber industry. 

“I hope other house builders will look at what Wales & West have done and start to use home grown timber for their own developments.  This would support supply chains across Wales and reduce our reliance on imported timber. With an ever increasing demand for housing this is the right time to be championing this and doing all we can to support the timber industry in Wales.” 

WWH is a founding member of Woodknowledge Wales (WKW), which promotes industry innovation, research and development for the Welsh wood industry.

Gary Newman, Chief Executive of WKW, said:

“We are delighted to be showcasing this project as an excellent example of what can be achieved when the client and main contractor have a shared and real commitment to delivering high performance housing at the same time as supporting the local and regional economic development.”

Cllr Elizabeth Roberts, Cabinet Member Adult and Community Services and Housing, for Conwy County Borough Council, said:

“We all know that there is a need for more affordable homes, and by using local skills and materials to build these new homes this development project provides economic benefits for the area too.”

Wales and West housing…Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths visit to Cwrt Rhos Fynach, Rhos On Sea. Pictured are Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths, Anne Hinchey Chief Executive WWH, Housing Officer Lindy Brettell, Project Officer Ian Gillespie, Tabitha Binding, Owain Williams, Gary Newman and Cllr Liz Roberts and waving from the balcony is resident Jason O’Brien.

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For all media enquiries, please contact PR & Marketing Officer Jane Janaway on 01352 736324, mobile 07881 379098, or jane.janaway@wwha.co.uk

Notes to the editor:

Wales & West Housing has around 11,500 properties across Wales providing quality, affordable homes for more than 20,000 people.

Established in 1965, WWH employs more than 450 staff, and works in 15 local authorities (Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Merthyr Tydfil, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea, Vale of Glamorgan, Wrexham) making it one of the largest housing associations in Wales.

Wales & West Housing Association Limited is registered in England and Wales with charitable rules and is a registered society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 No. 21114R.

Find out more at www.wwha.co.uk