Councillors minded to refuse 300-home scheme against recommendation for approval

Plans for a 300-home development near Caerphilly have been dealt a blow, after planning committee members said they were opposed to the scheme due to it being outside a settlement boundary.

Caerphilly Council: planning committee signalled it will refuse Persimmon's Cefn Fforest scheme
Caerphilly Council: planning committee signalled it will refuse Persimmon's Cefn Fforest scheme

Last week, Caerphilly County Borough Council’s planning committee said it was minded to refuse developer Persimmon Homes’ outline application for 300 homes with associated access, landscaping, open space and parking arrangements, on a 9.7-hectare site at Beaumaris Way, Cefn Fforest.

The proposal incorporated a mix of two, three and four bedroom homes with 25 per cent affordable housing.

Despite the scheme being located on a greenfield site outside the settlement, planning officers had recommended approval pending the signing of a section 106 agreement.

According to the officers’ report, the council’s development strategy identified the area as the ‘Northern Connections Corridor’, in which proposals would be "targeted to both greenfield and brownfield sites having regard to the social and economic functions of the area".

The report said the site is "located in a sustainable location in close proximity to a wide range of services and facilities and would be capable of utilising existing infrastructure" and would "contribute to the social and economic function of the area."

Officers also pointed to the fact that, according to the latest monitoring information, the council could only demonstrate a 2.3-year housing land supply.

"The development of the site is contrary to the provisions of the adopted local development plan (LDP) in so far as the site lies outside of the settlement boundary for Blackwood," the report said.

"However, this needs to be balanced against the urgent need to increase the housing land supply within the county borough, and the strategy in the LDP that supports development on greenfield sites in this area."

But the proposal was "deferred for reasons for refusal" by the committee, according to a council spokeswoman. In addition to the site being outside the settlement boundary, the spokeswoman said members cited highways congestion and pressure on public services including local schools as reasons for refusal.

She added that the grounds for the decision will be subject to a further report to go before a future committee for a final decision.

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