An appeal to decide whether a controversial 300-home development goes ahead has been delayed because of a change in Welsh Government planning policy.
The original application for Grove Park, near Cefn Fforest, submitted by developer Persimmon was recommended for approval by Caerphilly Council planners, but in October 2018 councillors rejected the proposal following strong local opposition.
The plans include a range of two, three and four-bedroom houses, open spaces and a new access road built from Heol Pit-y-Cieliogod and Beaumaris Way.
The plans were for an area outside a designated development boundary.
Under a policy called TAN 1, such plans would have favoured developers.
As it stood, the policy meant local authorities in Wales had to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply.
As Caerphilly County Borough Council does not have this, planning applications for housing developments rejected by the local authority were likely to get the go-ahead on appeal to the Welsh Government. This policy was suspended in May 2018 and scrapped altogether in March this year.
This has meant statements for the Grove Park appeal having to be resubmitted.
As a result, residents can again submit their views on the scheme by June 12.
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In the original application, two petitions against the proposal were received – one with 67 signatures and one with 90 signatures.
The petitions focused on the highway implications of the development and asked for a feasibility study from the Highways Authority to assess the impact of the development on the existing network.
A two-day planning appeal hearing was held in October last year and a decision on the scheme had been due first by December and then February.
Blackwood councillor Nigel Dix said if the appeal was turned down, it would stop developers submitting “speculative applications” for housing in the future.
He added: “We need a more level playing field which places the power back into the hands of councillors.”
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