Opposition dropped to 1,200 homes plan in Sebastopol, Torfaen
11:40am Friday 8th February 2013 in News
PROTESTERS in Torfaen have dropped their opposition to plans to build 1,200 new homes on a greenfield site, describing development as inevitable.
A planning inquiry, triggered when a consortium of developers appealed against a decision by Torfaen planners in July 2011 to reject their scheme in south Sebastopol, concluded yesterday.
Torfaen council did not contest the appeal, led by Barratt Homes, and the decisionwhether to overturn the original planning ruling will now be made by Welsh Government.
Presenting evidence on behalf of opponents to the scheme, Torfaen Friends of the Earth, Gwilym Powys-Jones told the inquiry residents and members no longer opposed the development, but would focus on conditions being imposed on this particular proposal.
He said: “Torfaen Friends of the Earth has reconsidered its original stance and will no longer contest the appeal.
“They now recognise the inevitability of some kind of development, but don’t consider the appellant’s scheme is suitable.”
At the meeting, which was attended by a dozen protesters, Mr Powys-Jones said his clients were happy that 20 per cent of the new housing would be affordable, but that the scheme would create a ‘large housing estate in the pejorative sense’.
Mr Powys-Jones also criticised plans to create access for parents to drive children to school, when the original intention had been for them to walk, he said, and said residents feared the road would be used as a ‘rat run’.
The group received more than 1,700 signatures on a petition opposing the plans.