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“This site is a gateway to the mountainside”: Planning permission refused for 25 homes in Greenmeadow

a field
The field in Greenmeadow. A councillor said the site was "incredibly steep"

Torfaen Council’s planning committee today (Thurs) refused planning permission for 25 homes to be built on a field in Greenmeadow.

An application was submitted by Tyr Ywen Developments Ltd for the new homes off Ty Canol Way.

Cllr Stuart Ashley, Pontnewydd Ward, said he went on a site with Cllr Norma Parrish, chair of the committee, in January. He said his “abiding impression” from the site was it was “incredibly steep. It was unbelievable.”

Later in the meeting he said the site was a “gateway to the mountainside”.

a road
The site is behind these trees off Ty Canol Way in Greenmeadow

Councillor Karl Gauden,  Llanfrechfa & Ponthir Ward, wanted to know how the site was included in the council’s local development plan (LDP) as being suitable for housing. The LDP is a document that lists sites in Torfaen where the council would favour new homes in principle. 

A planning officer told him that the work done to choose sites for the current LDP (published in 2013) was done in 2010. She said it was a “desktop exercise” and although the ecology and steepness of the site was recognised it would have “rounded off the urban boundary” as it was land inbetween Rosemead and Bluebell Court. She said the site had now been through a more “rigorous assessment” against new documents including Future Wales and Planning Policy Wales.

The application was for

  • Three pairs of semi-detached homes
  • A terrace of three affordable dwellings 
  • 16 detached homes
a map
The site is off Ty Canal Way
(Image- Torfaen Council planning application)

A report by officers recommended the permission be refused. The report said: “The construction of 25 dwellings on this greenfield site in a semi-rural location, with a lack of local facilities and lack of feasible active travel opportunities, does not represent high quality placemaking or sustainable development.

“It is considered that the proposed scale of development and design approach is incompatible with the site conditions and local character. This is evidenced by the inability to provide parking spaces in accordance with adopted standards; road gradients; the need for extensive engineering works resulting in numerous retaining structures; lack of useable garden spaces and a resulting proposal that is visually and physically dominated by the built form and associated surfacing

“The proposed development provides insufficient level of Affordable Housing and the proposal does not include adequate evidence to justify a reduction in the provision of Affordable Housing,

“The proposal therefore represents inappropriate and unacceptable development at this semi- rural edge of settlement location contrary to Planning Policy Wales.”

Access to the site would have been from Rosemead.

The homes would have been near Tyr Y Wen Barn, and Tyr Y Wen farmhouse, both Grade II-listed buildings. The officers’ report said new homes being so built so close to the building “would irreversibly eradicate the rural setting of the listed farm buildings both in terms of visual impact and also in terms of ambience, urban noise and disturbance”.

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“This site is a gateway to the mountainside”: Planning permission refused for 25 homes in Greenmeadow