Bid to stop plan for 155 homes in village fails after Welsh Government reject call-in request
Saul Cooke-Black, local democracy reporter
Plans to build up to 155 homes on a greenfield site in Monmouthshire will be allowed to go ahead after a request for the application to be ‘called-in’ by Welsh ministers was rejected.
A ‘hybrid’ planning application for the development on fields either side of Vinegar Hill in Undy was approved by Monmouthshire county councillors in January.
However, a request was made for the application to be called in for determination by Welsh ministers, which has now been rejected.
Planning applications are rarely called in by the Welsh Government, but they can be if the proposed development raises issues of more than local importance.
A letter from the Welsh Government to Monmouthshire council, informing it of the decision, says the call-in request was made due to a series of concerns about the development of a greenfield site, sustainability and placemaking issues, and highway safety worries.
The letter says the majority of the greenfield site is allocated for housing in the council’s Local Development Plan (LDP).
A section that falls outside of the allocated site was considered as “an acceptable departure” from the LDP by planning officers, due to homes to the west of the site and the need to include it for “viability reasons”, the Welsh Government letter says.
The letter said Monmouthshire council has “carried out a thorough assessment of this issue and comes to a reasonable conclusion”.
The Welsh Government also backed the council over its assessment of sustainability issues.
It said the council had considered the provision of recreational and amenity open space within the development, as well as a proposal to secure funding by way of a section 106 agreement for additional school places.
The letter also said the council had carried out “a thorough assessment” of road safety issues.
In the letter Kris Hawkins, senior decisions manager at Welsh Government, concluded the proposal “does not conflict with national or local policies”.
“It is unlikely to have wide effects beyond the immediate locality and, whilst there has been some opposition to the application, it is local in nature and is not likely to cause substantial controversy beyond the immediate locality,” he said.
The plans include a full application for 72 homes on two fields, and outline permission for a further 83 on another parcel of land in the area.
A mix of flats and two-, three- and four-bedroom homes are proposed, with the overall development including 25 per cent affordable housing.
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