Torfaen Council votes to put controversial South Sebastopol green belt site back into local plan

South Sebastopol development one step nearer

South Sebastopol development one step nearer

First published in News

GREEN belt land at the heart of a proposed controversial housing development between Sebastopol and Cwmbran is back in Torfaen's Local Development Plan (LDP).

At an extraordinary meeting of Torfaen council tonight in front of a packed gallery, councillors voted 22-17 to put green belt land back in Torfaen's Local Development Plan (LDP).

Environmental campaigners have been battling for 16 years to protect the green space near Cwmbran Drive.

Council leader Bob Wellington said there would be serious implications for everyone if the council did not have an LDP and this was about the big picture for the whole borough, not just south Sebastopol, and Torfaen should not be held to ransom by the area.

Torfaen Friends of the Earth collected 584 signatures against the land being used for housing and presented their petition at yesterday's three-hour meeting.

The land had been subject to intense scrutiny over the past year after the local authority highlighted it as an area which could potentially be developed on in its initial LDP, which covers the period up until 2021.

A consortium of developers, including Asbri Planning, Barratt Homes and the Welsh Development Agency initially proposed to build 1,200 homes on the land.

Locals campaigned vociferously against this, with the local authority rejecting the application last July.

In February, the council decided to delete the south Sebastopol area from the LDP and to reduce the number of houses planned for Torfaen over the next nine years by 690.

But, an Assembly planning inspector said the local authority did not have enough evidence to do that. The site has now been re-instated to the LDP and could be used for future housing developments.

A planning inquiry is set to be held in January to hear the appeal from the consortium of developers.

Comments (6)

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8:36pm Tue 23 Oct 12

real_life says...

Please get your facts right, its a green open space, call it what you will, but it is not a statutory green belt which would otherwise, have lent some protection to the area. There is only one green belt in Wales between Newport and Cardiff.

Nonetheless, what a shame, Labour failing to stand up for local residents in the face of their Welsh Government mates.
Please get your facts right, its a green open space, call it what you will, but it is not a statutory green belt which would otherwise, have lent some protection to the area. There is only one green belt in Wales between Newport and Cardiff. Nonetheless, what a shame, Labour failing to stand up for local residents in the face of their Welsh Government mates. real_life
  • Score: 0

9:06pm Tue 23 Oct 12

mvaone says...

What I would like to know is where the money comes from and how many of the councillors will line their pockets from this? All this means is more houses,more disruption and more strain on services.A shame that the coucil sees it fit to keep selling our natural beauty spots along a canalwalk that has just been revamped for people to enjoy.
What I would like to know is where the money comes from and how many of the councillors will line their pockets from this? All this means is more houses,more disruption and more strain on services.A shame that the coucil sees it fit to keep selling our natural beauty spots along a canalwalk that has just been revamped for people to enjoy. mvaone
  • Score: 0

10:41pm Tue 23 Oct 12

Frazerj says...

This just shows how little democracy there is in Torfaen! Well done Councillors Mawby, Cunningham and Barnett for supporting public opinion. Isn't that what democracy is all about?

The officer led party system as operated in Torfaen has seen the labour sheep led like lambs to the slaughter over the years, too lacking in intelligence to think for themselves and too pig headed to listen to the electorate. I knew that Bob Wellington and Duncan Smith would not rest until they got the democratic decision to reject South Sebastopol reversed, shame on them!
This just shows how little democracy there is in Torfaen! Well done Councillors Mawby, Cunningham and Barnett for supporting public opinion. Isn't that what democracy is all about? The officer led party system as operated in Torfaen has seen the labour sheep led like lambs to the slaughter over the years, too lacking in intelligence to think for themselves and too pig headed to listen to the electorate. I knew that Bob Wellington and Duncan Smith would not rest until they got the democratic decision to reject South Sebastopol reversed, shame on them! Frazerj
  • Score: 0

1:08pm Wed 24 Oct 12

Dalek Dave says...

mvaone wrote:
What I would like to know is where the money comes from and how many of the councillors will line their pockets from this? All this means is more houses,more disruption and more strain on services.A shame that the coucil sees it fit to keep selling our natural beauty spots along a canalwalk that has just been revamped for people to enjoy.
We need more houses in the area!

As long as the increased traffic volumes are taken into account, I can only see the development as being beneficial to the whole area.

Also the canal stretches for many miles through beautiful countryside. We have an abundance of green space in the area, all within a short walk or car ride.
[quote][p][bold]mvaone[/bold] wrote: What I would like to know is where the money comes from and how many of the councillors will line their pockets from this? All this means is more houses,more disruption and more strain on services.A shame that the coucil sees it fit to keep selling our natural beauty spots along a canalwalk that has just been revamped for people to enjoy.[/p][/quote]We need more houses in the area! As long as the increased traffic volumes are taken into account, I can only see the development as being beneficial to the whole area. Also the canal stretches for many miles through beautiful countryside. We have an abundance of green space in the area, all within a short walk or car ride. Dalek Dave
  • Score: 0

5:59pm Wed 24 Oct 12

macbumble says...

The old steel works, Hollybush school, the old Brookfield school land near the demolished rechem plus county hall there are a few hundred houses going on those sites why destroy woods and fields instead.
The old steel works, Hollybush school, the old Brookfield school land near the demolished rechem plus county hall there are a few hundred houses going on those sites why destroy woods and fields instead. macbumble
  • Score: 0

6:23pm Wed 24 Oct 12

stanclif says...

the people of pontypool and most other valley towns get what they deserve. they vote labour from the age of eighteen till the day they die just because their father did. they had a multimillionaire MP LEO ABSE for many years, which is what most labour voters find abhorrent .but little LEO was a clever man he knew that the only way he could achieve his ambition of being an MP was to find a seat where the voters don't think for themselves . when I lived in ponty they used to say if you put a monkey up as a labour candidate it would get in, I think little old LEO was that MONKEY.
the people of pontypool and most other valley towns get what they deserve. they vote labour from the age of eighteen till the day they die just because their father did. they had a multimillionaire MP LEO ABSE for many years, which is what most labour voters find abhorrent .but little LEO was a clever man he knew that the only way he could achieve his ambition of being an MP was to find a seat where the voters don't think for themselves . when I lived in ponty they used to say if you put a monkey up as a labour candidate it would get in, I think little old LEO was that MONKEY. stanclif
  • Score: 0

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