Multi-million pound bid to boost three Flintshire towns given OK

Reporter:

Kate Forrester

A MULTI-million pound bid that could see the transformation of three towns in Flintshire has been given the green light.

A crunch meeting has seen senior councillors declare Shotton, Queensferry and Connah’s Quay a neighbourhood renewal area, the first stage in the council’s major bid to secure a potential total of £10 million of funding for the area from the Welsh Assembly Government.

If it goes ahead, the scheme would see houses, shops and infrastructure across the three towns given vital facelifts and improvements.

Areas targeted for regeneration include the Red Hall shopping precinct and parade of shops near Dean’s Place in Connah’s Quay and Queensferry and Shotton high streets.

Private home owners could be offered grants to improve the appearance of their houses and increase their energy efficiency, and problems with traffic congestion, particularly in Shotton, would be addressed.

Connah’s Quay councillor and opposition leader Aaron Shotton, who has supported the bid from the outset, said: “Regeneration of Connah’s Quay is long overdue, particularly at Red Hall and I am delighted it has been included in the renewal area.”

A survey carried out by the council revealed that the biggest concerns among Deeside residents include anti-social behaviour, traffic congestion and a lack of community spirit.

Shotton councillor Ann Minshull said: “The main problem we have in Shotton is traffic congestion and if you speak to the residents, they will tell you that’s what needs to be sorted out.”

Nearly every councillor voted in favour of the plans at a meeting on Wednesday and the bid was officially approved by the executive committee.

Cllr Helen Yale, executive member for estate management, said: “I fully support the neighbourhood renewal project.

"This is fantastic news for the residents of the areas that will benefit.

“It will tackle housing conditions, fuel poverty and energy efficiency, along with environmental, highway and parking-related problems.

“It is very encouraging that the majority of members supported the scheme.”

The bid has been made following an invitation from the Welsh Assembly for local councils to apply for renewal funding for deprived communities.

The draft plans must be submitted to the Senedd by the end of next month.

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