THE £25 million housing development to be built on the former Pirelli Cables site in Lliswerry will move a step closer to starting this month.

It is hoped that with the “competitive tender phase” nearing completion at the end of January, a contractor will be appointed and work could start on the site in early spring.

Planning permission was granted in October 2013 for the development of 250 homes – with houses available for outright purchase, shared ownership and through a number of rental options.

The housing project is being delivered by Seren Group, in partnership with Newport City Council, Newport Unlimited and the Welsh Government.

The idea is to build a garden village drawing on the traditional arts and crafts style of housing adding front and back gardens, trees, hedges, parks, play areas and allotments.

Neil Taylor, Senior Project Manager for Seren Group, said: “Once the competitive tenders are returned, our next step will be to appoint the contractor.

“The creation of trainee and apprenticeships, as well as the use of local labour, where possible, will form an important part of our decision.

“We envisage a start on site in early spring, with the first homes being available towards the end of 2014.”

Concerns had been raised by residents in May 2013, about access and the increase of traffic on Wednesbury Street.

But these fears were answered by Seren Group representative, Neil Barber, who assured residents that the main access to the site will be from Telford Street, and traffic calming measures will ensure that other routes are not used as primary access points.

Allan Morris, a ward councillor for Lliswerry said: “The development has been a long time coming and it’ll be nice to see lovely buildings that’ll bring a positive element to the area.

“The site has been in decline and used for unsavoury activities so it’ll be good to see this work start.

“It’s been a long process but the main issue was to ensure that the development is not to the detriment of existing residents.

“We have a very good working relationship with the Seren Group and we will work together should any issues arise. A once industrial eyesore will very soon be buildings to be proud of.”