Crymych housing scheme prompts fears for Welsh language

Crymych, Pembrokeshire Image copyright Google
Image caption Crymych is one of the few communities in Pembrokeshire where a majority speak Welsh

Plans to build 56 new houses in a Pembrokeshire village have been approved by county councillors despite local opposition.

The houses and bungalows will be built on farmland in Crymych.

Business group Menter Iaith Sir Benfro claimed it could threaten the Welsh-speaking nature of the village, while some residents fear extra traffic.

Developers Tai Ceredigion said the scheme is aimed at local people, with a quarter of the homes to be affordable.

Crymych has one of the highest proportions of Welsh speakers in Pembrokeshire, at 60% according to the 2011 census.

The figure for Pembrokeshire as a whole was just under 14%.

Image caption Farmland near the main A478 through the village has been earmarked for the housing scheme

A language impact assessment, by planning consultants Asbri for the developers, said the scheme would have "an overall positive impact" on the Welsh language and its future in the area.

It estimates the scheme would increase Crymych's population of just under 800 by at least another 134.

'Fighting a battle'

Rhidian Evans, chief officer of Menter Iaith Sir Benfro (Pembrokeshire Language Enterprise), said he feared such an expansion could dilute the Welsh-speaking character of the village.

"In this area, we are fighting a battle to keep the language," he said.

"Something like this is going to have a significant impact."

Resident Catrin Davies told BBC Wales she was concerned about the extra traffic from the development.

"Having more houses will mean more traffic and more speed," she said.

"With more houses, it will mean more people coming. It won't be Crymych any more."

Tai Ceredigion said: "We are confident this site can make a positive contribution to local people."

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