Councillors have reluctantly approved plans to build 260 homes on green fields in Caerphilly, despite serious concerns remaining over the development.
Caerphilly council’s planning committee voted to approve a reserved matters application for the contentious development on land north of Hendredenny Drive in Hendredenny, Caerphilly, at a meeting on Wednesday, June 19.
A previous outline application was rejected by the council, but this decision was overturned after the developer lodged an appeal.
Councillors once again voiced opposition to the plans on Wednesday, with concerns over traffic congestion and vehicle access to the site.
Penyrheol ward councillor Lindsay Whittle said he had “grave concerns” over the impact of extra traffic on the west of Caerphilly.
“Forty-two years ago this development was refused for fear of traffic congestion,” Cllr Whittle said.
“I do not know how we can now be satisfied this has been addressed.
“There is no provision to aid the flow of traffic in this plan, none at all.”
A planning inspector said the development would bring additional traffic at peak times, but not at “any significant level.”
In his conclusion, he said the site was in a ‘sustainable’ location, providing access to services, and that there was an “overriding need” for the development.
Emyr Davies, speaking on behalf of the applicant Redrow Homes, said the development would bring 60 ‘much-needed’ affordable homes.
Mr Davies said around £1million would be given to a council fund for community infrastructure projects.
But Cllr Elizabeth Aldworth voiced concern over there being just one road for vehicles to access the site, this being from Hendredenny Drive.
“One route into such a large development is really not on,” councillor Aldworth said.
“It is very concerning indeed. The number of dwellings being served off one route is mad.
“I would have thought the applicant would have considered another access somewhere.”
Tim Stephens, the council’s planning services manager, said planners are confident the size of the road can accommodate the number of homes in the development though.
Councillors considered a call for the application to be deferred, made by councillor Whittle, to allow for a public consultation on how money for infrastructure projects would be spent.
But councillors were told a process is already in place for allocating the money.
Cllr John Ridgewell asked what would happen if the committee refused the application.
“The applicants would appeal and we would not stand a hope in hell,” Mr Stephens said in response.
Councillors approved the plans, with eight voting in favour and six against.