Plans for 350 homes on the site of a former golf club in Caerphilly have been deferred to allow for further talks on providing affordable housing.
The proposals include 49 houses offered at discounted market rates. None have been designated as affordable housing, which was described as a “moral outrage” at a planning committee meeting.
Concerns were also raised about the suitability of the Virginia Park site for housing, given its past as a refuse tip.
But opinions on the application, submitted by GHR Developments, were met with a mixed response from councillors on March 20.
Sarah Elliott, vice chair of the Oppose Virginia Park Development residents’ group, told the meeting that the development would exacerbate Caerphilly’s “already stretched” infrastructure.
“A potential increase in demand of 1,600 residents results in a detrimental impact services in place for existing and future residents, for whom we have a duty of care,” said Ms Elliott.
“I hope this council does not put a profit-generating proposal before the needs and apprehension of residents.”
Caerphilly councillors Phil Bevan, Jamie Pritchard and Shayne Cook also spoke in opposition to the “unacceptable” development in their ward.
Cllr Pritchard described the application as “extremely unpopular”, with nearly 300 residents submitting letters of objection.
He was also critical of officers for not holding the developer to the 40 per cent affordable housing target for new developments in the area.
“It is a moral outrage that a development can before us and say, ‘we’ll build on your land and we’ll have no affordable housing in Caerphilly town,’” he said.
“They say its not viable but there are 5,000 people on the council’s housing waiting lists who would say it’s viable.
“If you support this you might as well roll out the red carpet for developers to not build any affordable homes in Caerphilly.”
Mark Roberts, speaking on behalf of the developers, said the scheme would remediate the highly contaminated site and offer “much-needed” housing.
The meeting heard that most of the 42-acre site remained a greenfield site, and approval would be contrary to policies within the council’s local development plan.
Virginia Park was also deemed unsuitable for development during the LDP’s development in 2006, but members were told that circumstances had “changed massively”.
Councillors were split on the decision before committee chair Councillor Mike Adams suggested deferral, so the council and developer could meet again to discuss affordable housing.