Blocks of 72 affordable homes will be built in Barry despite fears about their effect on a historic part of the town.

The blocks of flats in Subway Road will mean Barry’s longest-running family business, Silver Star DIY, will close after 127 years of trading and be demolished along with the existing units on the site.

They will be replaced by two blocks of four and five storeys of apartments which would all be available for social rent.

Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Planning Committee voted to approve the plans on February 28.

But some councillors on the committee expressed fears over the effect the apartment blocks would have on the council’s Docks Office, which is opposite the site.

Councillor Pamela Drake said: “I do think this is a bit of an overload on the site. I think the design of these two blocks don’t look particularly attractive compared to the county treasure across the road. ”

The apartments would be served by 37 parking spaces.

Cllr Nic Hodges said the parking proposed was insufficient.

He said: “It’s largely inappropriate for an area as important and historical as this. There seems to have been no attempt to make it look better. I don’t like it – I think it’s excessive.

“Poor people should be allowed cars and we shouldn’t stop them if they want them.”

The family behind Silver Star DIY plans to close the store on March 31.

Cllr Ian Johnson said: “This was a historic business area and a link between the docks and the town. Losing that link is quite a punch to the guts. Some of these businesses are traditional and have been there for a long time.

“The idea of coming along and plonking some large buildings in their place doesn’t sit right with me.”

Marcus Goldsworthy, head of planning at the council, told the meeting the current buildings were in a poor condition.

He said council officers have been in talks with Crefft Kitchen and Bedroom Studio to help the business relocate from the site.

But Cllr Johnson said: “I’m unhappy with scenarios with which streets and areas which have been allowed to be run down and then replaced with something else.

“This is a historical part of our town. There could have been a great regeneration job on this if there was the interest and motivation.

“I’m not happy with the message it sends – we let somewhere go to wreck and ruin and build some houses on it.”

The meeting heard the site is owned by Associated British Ports.

A housing assessment in 2017 said Barry needs an extra 576 affordable homes each year to keep up with demand while there are 452 households on the council’s housing waiting list in the Castleland ward of the town.

Mr Goldsworthy told the meeting council officers have considered the impact the new buildings would have on Docks Office and “the view is it doesn’t detract from that setting”.

Jon Hurley, agent for application Jehu and Wales & West, told the meeting the application was a chance to “bring back into use this prominent site and go some way to meeting the housing need in this part of Barry”.

“The proposed redevelopment of the site represents a great opportunity to provide some new affordable housing, ” he said.