PCNPA LDP – Inspector’s Report (Mr.Juniper) – 01/09/2010
Housing Allocations – Newport
“ 3.33 Despite Newport’s status, conferred by Policy 2, as a Tier 3 Local Centre, there remain some doubts about 3 of the 4 housing allocations. The site for the mixed use allocation at Feidr Pen y Bont (MA232) is the subject of a planning permission for an industrial development18 and so the 6 live/work units19 may not be
provided. However, development has not commenced and it seems to me reasonable to allow the allocation to stand, to be reconsidered at the first review of the Plan if the permitted scheme proceeds.
3.34 Two other housing allocations, however, form part of an active and evidently well used caravan park off Parrog Road (HA220 and HA609). It was clear from the proprietors’ stance at the hearings that there is little prospect of this business altering its mode of operation and removing pitches to accommodate the proposed housing. I have come to the view that these allocations are not soundly based and I recommend that they should be deleted.
3.35 Of the alternative sites put forward for my consideration, those within the defined Centre Boundary on the Proposals Map seem to me to be suitable for development provided the broader criteria of the LDP are met although there are some access difficulties which would be likely to restrict their availability. Those outside the Centre Boundary are all in locations where the impact of built development on the wider landscape would be unacceptable.
3.36 I looked carefully, however, at the allocated site on land north of Feidr Eglwys (HA825) and the land immediately to the north, Alternative Sites reference Alt1056 and Alt1057. The western part of Alt1056 as depicted on the relevant Alternative Sites Proposals Map – AltC23 Newport/Trefdraeth – is within the existing churchyard and this has been acknowledged as a drafting error.The rest of this land, with the safeguards set out in the NPA’s analysis of HA825, would be suitable for an expansion of that site. It is reasonably well screened from local viewpoints and in the more distant prospect of the town from the north any built development here would be seen within the context of the surrounding housing and against the background of the steeply rising ground around the Castle. Although the NPA’s site analysis exercise did not specifically include this land, all important aspects are either satisfactorily covered in the investigation into HA825 or could be dealt with during the processing of any subsequent planning application.
3.37 In coming to this view I am conscious that some additional traffic would need to use the somewhat constricted road network in the immediate vicinity. The site is well related to all the facilities in the centre of the town, however, and many trips to access these would be likely to be made by foot, not least because of the parking constraints in the town centre. There was limited evidence about accidents in this part of the road network and that which was available was largely anecdotal, which limits the weight I can give it.
3.38 The highway authority has acknowledged that the hedgebank along the southern edge of the site would need to be set back to achieve
proper safety standards and I am content that the techniques to achieve this successfully are now well established. With improved width and visibility at the junction thus provided, the highway authority considers that a total of about 20 dwellings could be safely accessed on HA825 and a small site, Alt824, to the south of Feidr Eglwys. Since the latter site is only likely to be suitable for one or two dwellings I consider that an expanded HA825 could accommodate up to 20 units. The 8 additional units would still not fully compensate in the assessment of overall provision for the loss of the 15 proposed for HA220 and HA609, but I see no prospect of the whole of the desirable provision being achieved in Newport, given its environmental constraints. I therefore recommend that site HA825 be expanded accordingly.
Delete sites HA220 and HA609 from the Proposals Map, Inset C23 and from Table 7; adjust the figure in sub-para (b) of Policy 32 from 210 to 195 and remove the entry for site HA220 from Appendix 2.
Expand Site HA825 on Proposals Map Inset C23 to take in the areas of Sites Alt1056 and Alt1057, except for that part of Alt1056 which falls within the existing churchyard and adjust Table 7 to allow for 20 residential units of which 14 would be affordable housing. The site area in column 4 and the relevant totals will also need to be amended.
18 Document No. Exam 36
19 Table 3, following Policy 30 of the Deposit LDP “