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31/07/2020

Major housing scheme approved for Pontypool, but Wrexham project blocked

Words: Roger Milne

Mixed fortunes this week for two major residential schemes with the go-ahead for a 900-home urban village in Pontypool but refusal for a 600-house project earmarked for land on the outskirts of Wrexham. The latter decision was against the recommendation of officers.

The urban village involves 52 hectares of land allocated by Torfaen County Borough Council in its local plan for mixed-use development next to the existing Mamhilad Park Estate.

Johnsey Estates UK’s outline proposals would see the demolition of existing industrial buildings, including what remains of the former Park-Davis factory, and partial demolition of the former Nylon Spinners factory.

The scheme also involves a primary school, a multi-use neighbourhood centre and recreational facilities.

The site is on the A4042 between the M4 motorway and Abergavenny. It will include a range of new homes, 20 per cent of which would be affordable. 

The Wrexham scheme for 600 new homes was submitted by Barratt Homes and Bloor Homes. This too was an outline application and offered 20 per cent affordable housing.

The site, off Holt Road, was outside the settlement limits of the existing urban development plan and was within a green barrier and also a mineral resource protection area. In addition, the location contained best and most versatile agricultural land.

The report considered by Monday’s (27 July) planning committee acknowledged the conflicts with UDP policies, but pointed out there had been a considerable and persistent undersupply of housing between 2013 and 2019 and that the development would make a significant contribution to meeting the housing requirement and in turn the delivery of the local development plan.

The site between Wrexham Rugby Club and the roundabout by Wrexham Golf Club forms part of a wider area identified by the local planning authority as suitable for up to 1,680 new houses in its draft LDP, currently under examination. 
However, councillors were not persuaded, and they expressed concern at the impact of the scheme on existing health services, loss of valuable farmland and affordable housing issues.

Image credit | Shutterstock

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