Plans for 125 new homes to come back before council planning committee
News | Saul Cooke-Black - Local Democracy Reporting Service | Published: 11:40, Tuesday June 30th, 2020.
Last updated: 11:46, Tuesday June 30th, 2020
Contentious plans for 125 homes on the site of former council offices in Pontllanfraith are set to come back before Caerphilly County Borough Council’s planning committee – after being refused by councillors.
Just a single vote decided the “flagship” housing plan earlier this month, which promises 83 affordable homes in a collaboration between the council and housing association Pobl.
But while many councils give planning reasons for refusal at the time of rejecting an application, Caerphilly council requires an additional meeting to discuss the reasons for rejecting an application.
Independent councillor Kevin Etheridge has warned the system leaves the possibility of additional information coming forward between the meetings which could sway a committee to change its decision.
“I do not agree with [the system],” he said.
“Once an application is refused we have had a proper debate and there is openness and transparency.
“In my view, officers should then go and write the reasons for refusal, they should not bring it back again.”
But the council said the system is “acknowledged as good practice” by bodies including the Welsh Government and the Royal Town Planning Institute.
“The purpose of the system is to ensure that reasons for refusal are properly formed,” a council spokesman said.
“This allows members to consider the precise wording of reasons for refusal and whether these can be defended at appeal.
“The process was agreed by council in the planning code of practice, which can be found in part five of the constitution.
“Many local planning authorities in Wales operate a similar process.”
The application is expected to come back before the planning committee to consider reasons for refusal next Wednesday (July 8).
Support us with £3 a month membership and go ad-free. For the last ten years, Caerphilly Observer has provided an award-winning, balanced, and independent news service to the people of Caerphilly County Borough.
However, running a professional news service comes at a financial cost. Caerphilly Observer is predominantly funded through advertising and while this has supported us in the past, the future economic outlook in light of the coronavirus outbreak looks bleak.
We believe the public should be informed about their community, coherently and with context. We also believe that public interest journalism should not be put behind a paywall.
We are asking readers for their support to help us develop and grow our service.
Our membership costs just £3 a month and in return, you can use our website without adverts.