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National Park Decision fails to provide for Newport’s Local Housing need    16th November 2015     Read more
The National Park lets Newport down badly yet Again !    12th November 2015     Read more

Summary and latest Status

Latest:  On Wednesday 30th September, we had been  delighted to report that the Development Management Committee (DMC) voted by 8 to 3 that “they were minded to reject this development”. – alas, just a bare 6 weeks later the very same Committee, after affording the applicant a “cooling-off” period, in which to lobby frenetically, did a complete turnabout and voted last Wednesday (click here for a full Report by a BDOG member present – and here – DMC Minutes 11 11 15 – for a copy of the “official minutes” of the meeting) by 10 to 4 to “approve” the application. This in line with the advice and recommendation of the Officers, but against the site housing cap set out in the LDP, even though there had not been any siginifcant change in the material planning circumstances.

This volte face came about because x2 of the Committee Appointees, who live respectively outside Swansea and outside Newport (Mon), and who had failed to so much even attend the previous Committee, when the Objector’s side of the case had been allowed to be put, this time turned up (we understand for their respective last Cmmttee) and saw no difficulty in voting to approve the application, despite their not having previously heard our side of the arguments.

Two Cllrs. who had previously seen fit to abstain on that occassion, now saw nothing inconsistent in their voting to approve the application instead.

Finally, in addition to x3 other Councillor Members, who simply suddenly expereinced a dramatic change of heart, or is that just susceptible mind (the eighth previous refusnik councillor was absent for this last meeting), there was then finally also a local councillor (Cllr Mike James –  St Dogmaels). Having decided to resign his membership of Cymdeithas Tai Cantref ( the local Housing Association) – so that he no longer had a conflict of interest to prevent his participation (!) – then talked at length about the correspondence and approaches he’d received in support of the Application, including a letter from Cymdeitas yr Iaith Gymraeg (the Welsh Language Society) before voting to also approve the development.  Shame you didn’t apparently bother to so much as actually read the letter Mike, rather than just note its arrival and assume its contents, because the Welsh Language Society is actually vehemently opposed to this development, as they clearly told you in their letter.

BDOG now has no alternative, having no legal right to appeal this decision, but to go to  Court to seek permission to challenge this decision by means of a judicial review. This will be a most expensive and complex litigious solution which we surely would have been praying to avoid. However, thankfully several prominent Welsh planning barristers have already been in touch willing to offer their services and we are assured we have a very good case. To contribute to our legal fund please be in touch with us at the following contact details :

  • 35 densely packed dwellings – the largest single development ever in Newport.
  • The planners recommended to the DMC (on 30th Sept) that the decision be delegated to themselves for approval (see full detail)
  • Many of our supporters attended this planning meeting;  Many thanks!  A detailed report can be seen under latest news.
  • We still don’t know why the Planning Officers are not abiding by their own development plan which allowed only 12 (or 20) dwellings – see below.  They are also ignoring the wishes of Newport Town Council and not taking proper account of the environmental cost.
  • As this will return to the DMC on 11th November, you can still write or email  Members, but now we should concentrate on getting the 8 Members who voted against the proposal (see here for voting record) to stand by their guns !   Click here to see the members and their addresses.
  • The Applicant’s Agent obviously considers he has a close and friendly relationship with the Planning Case Officer,  read what happened at the site visit, for example.
  • Don’t expect these properties to be sold to local people. We explain why here.
  • Read an account of the September DMC meeting in the Western Telegraph.

Your views: Please add your own opinions on this development. Click here.

The current pastoral view compared to the proposed high-density development
Left: View of site from Feidr Eglwys      Right: Top-view plan of development.      Click on images for more detailed view. (See footnote 1 below for Attribution)

This group has formed to stop the development of a large housing estate in Newport which is the subject of a current full planning application to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. You can see the application by clicking here and you can also  SIGN OUR PETITION.

The Site forms a rough rectangle between Feidr Eglwys (to the south), the back gardens of properties on the south side of Goat Street (to the North), Feidr Bentinck (to the East), and finally the little brook Afon Ysgolheigion (to the West). See map (below).

Our principal concerns are as follows:

1. Whilst the site was included as a “Housing Allocation” in the National Park Local Development Plan (“LDP”) in 2010, the highest number of open–market houses included then was only 4 units (30% of 12) or 6 units (30%of 20), amazingly depending on which part of the Plan you are looking at. However, the current Application is now for 21 open-market houses (60% of 35), with no controls on these being sold to more second home owners for a community which already has around 40% of households thus occupied. Plus a separate further ‘block’ of development for another 14 housing units allocated to a so-called “affordable housing” commitment. Yet this now represent only 40% of the total, as compared to the stated 70% commitment, at time of the LDP in 2010.

2. The plan is to turn the site, which is largely to pasture, providing a lovely setting to the historic town conservation area, into a closely packed ² housing estate of 35 units of accommodation.

3. The area is the gateway into the historic town from Carningli, much quoted in tourism literature and local business advertising. It has “archaeological high potential” according to Archaeology Wales. Many in Newport believe that there are other appropriate small sites which would better accommodate housing needs.

4. This is a major development, on one site, affecting not only people living nearby, but also with implications for the already fragile infrastructure of Newport and potential adverse effects on the enjoyment of this lovely area of the National Park by local people and visitors alike.

5. The very narrow lanes just can’t accommodate 53 more cars³, there are few passing places and most of these on Feidr Bentinck are facilitated by using private driveways. There are no pavements, and walkers, many trying to enjoy the scenery, already take their lives into their hands in this area.

6. The retail centre and Church cannot withstand the likely knock on effect of loss of casual parking serving them closer to town.

7. The Newport sewerage system is already not coping with far too many spills of diluted raw sewage from the Combined Sewage Overflow into the Bay from Cwm which can affect bathing water quality, vital to public health and tourism.

If you would like to find out more, or consider joining a campaign to stop this development going ahead, or can help by contributing to a fighting fund to cover legal fees, please contact Ros McGarry on 01239 821 129 or by email to bentinckdevelopment@aol.com

Lobbying

You may wish to contact decision makers and let them know your feelings. Details of who they are and what you might do are under the menu tab “Lobbying”, or click here.

Letters

You can also write individual letters, which should be sent before the end of May to

Ms. S. Davies,
Admin Support,
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority,
Llanion Park, Pembroke Dock,
Pembrokeshire SA72 6DY

SueD@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk

The reference to use is NP/15/0194/FUL

You can also write to individual Committee Members if you prefer, or even better ‘as well’ and lobby other decision-makers, who all have a role to play in the planning process – for full details go to the Letters section.

Site location 

plan-of-site

The above image (Map data ©2015 Google) shows the location of the proposed development. Until 28th August 2015 we showed the plan that is on the PCNPA planning web site  in a window. (Click the link to see this plan).  However we have been asked to remove this.  One might think the National Park planners are doing their best to hide the extent of this huge development from public attention. We hope this new map will show the location of this huge development and how dense the 35 houses will be compared to nearby existing housing.  Click here to view the area in Google maps in a new tab to further explore and judge for yourself.

Footnote 1 : Acknowledgment & Attribution: The development proposal top plan (on the right @ top of this page) is the property of Harries Design & Management.  The  plan map immediately above is shown courtesy of Google maps.  These are used here solely in support of a criticism of the planning development proposal thereby represented. The top image was supplied to us by the Local Planning Authority from their Public Planning Register, as enquiring members of the public.  The second image is from Google Maps used under their fair use policy.   These uses are a lawful “fair dealing”, fully covered and protected by the provisions of s.30(1)&[1A] of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Footnote 2: “Closely packed” reflects our concern that, in the 2010 Development Plan, the Planning Inspector judged that the site was suitable for a housing density of only 14 dwellings per hectare at most, whichever part of the LDP you choose to refer to, and that was predicated on an overwhelming  majority (70%) of single or 2-bedroom “affordable” units being built. Whereas, this development proposal now equates to a far higher density, equivalent of 23.333 dwellings per hectare instead (or 2/3rds greater), the majority of which (60%) is for 3 or 4-bedroom open market properties..

Footnote 3: The number of cars is based on the average number of cars per dwelling in Pembrokeshire.

NOTE – Please now submit your own views on our new “Your Views” page: new “Your Views” page.

8 thoughts on “HOME”

  1. In my experience, developers almost always ask for more than they expect to get, wear out the opposition, then accept something like half of the starting number, so do bear this tactic in mind. Would the campaigners accept 14 houses, the figure mentioned as possible by an inspector? What proportion should be social housing?

  2. The planning authority should ONLY consider Brown Field sights for further development .
    This is , yet again, a travesty of protection of areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

  3. Another concern for me is the potential impact on the little brook Afon Ysgolheigion. A footpath is planned to exit the development onto Goat street and a footpath will have to be built on the east side of this very beautiful stream. I know this is a small issue compared to the ones listed above, but I don’t understand the needless destruction of vegetation in this brook.
    Good luck team

  4. Newport is full of holiday homes, local youngsters stand no chance of getting on the housing ladder as they can’t compete with “outsiders” coming in and buying second homes. If they work in or around Newport the chance of finding an affordable house to rent let alone buy is impossible. When you can get £350 plus a week renting a house for holiday makers , youngsters stand no chance. In my opinion if houses are going up 75% should be affordable and youngsters helped to live and work locally. Knowing the area it’s far to big a development anyway….in the summer it’s gridlocked with cars trying to pass and visitors who come to Newport to get away from traffic jams and being packed in like sardines will get fed up trying to get along packed lanes, having no where to park and the beautiful countryside they’ve come to see covered with another exclusive housing estate .

    1. Very well put – it really is that simple. Let us not be distracted by the “affordable homes” argument. This is not some act of altruism borne out of a recognition for the plight of the masses by a few beneficent individuals. This is a scheme to benefit a few individuals at the expense of a whole community.

  5. I can’t imagine the congestion during the Summer period, which is already bedlam as it is due to narrow roads and lanes. Market St would be insufferable and the adverse effects in whole, is difficult to fathom.

  6. Personally, I can’t wait for these houses to be built as I have lived in Newport most of my life and worked in Pembrokeshire since I left school but I have never been able to afford to buy my own house here as the ones that have been for sale have been snapped up as holiday or retirement homes. Time for us Welsh people to reclaim our town!

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Stop the largest development in Newport for decades