Magor

First published in Town guides

MAGOR is Gwent's boom village, but it's a description not well liked by established villagers. Nevertheless, the village is growing at such a rate it could well outpace the services it requires. But make no mistake, it's a desirable and friendly place to live.

And despite planning pressures Monmouth borough council are seeking to strike a balance between outside planning pressures and what it considers are the real needs of the village.

For the past three years there have been petitions - one had 1,500 signatures - for a new railway station. British Rail like the idea but say they haven't got the money for such a scheme, the cost for which now stands at 250,000.

That is not the actual cost of the halt itself. The Department of Transport has said that new rail halts must have a footbridge over the railway lines for safety reasons. That has not deterred the clamour from Magor residents.

But a new development - the second Severn crossing - may push British Rail into such an investment. The population of the village has exploded but it's fair to say that more homes will be built there. It's also fair to assume that these new residents will either commute to jobs in Gwent or Cardiff or to Bristol, because the work won't be available locally. So British Rail could be forced into the provision of a halt.

Recently Monmouth borough council gave permission for a new business park at Magor on a 17-acre site near the M4 junction and the Whitbread brewery.It's thought the site could be used predominantly for offices. On top of that a massive motorway service station will be built as part of the second Severn crossing plan.

Will Magor suffer from these developments? Unlikely, say many residents. The village centre with its church, post office and pub - Magor Square - will remain as photogenic as ever.

Nothing it seems will disturb the tranquillity of the square. But it is likely that the businesses already a part of that scene will begin to boom as an increasing population find their way to the square.

One thing is certain both the borough and community councils will be keeping a watchful eye on local developments. They have to no wish to see such a pleasant area lose any of the attributes which influenced many to make their home in a lovely part of the county.

The old and the new have come together and will continue to come together - but only if both benefit. That's the watching brief for both councils.

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