A MASSIVE development of 529 new homes, along with a primary school, care home, pub and shops on a former steelworks site in Newport has been given the green light.

The outline application for the former Whiteheads site off Mendalgief Road in Pill was approved by Newport City Council's planning committee earlier today, Wednesday.

The site was occupied by a steelworks from the 1920s until 2005, and has most recently been used as parking for the nearby Royal Gwent Hospital.

Speaking at this morning's meeting, David Ward, chief executive of Whitehead's parent company Tai Tirion, said the company planned to build 50 per cent of the homes as affordable housing, but would do so without asking for a grant from the council.

"We believe the planning case for this is very strong," he said.

He added the development would also provide jobs and apprenticeships in the building trade.

"Tirion is not just building houses," he said. "We are seeking to make a long-term positive impact."

Although the plans have been largely welcomed, some residents in the area have expressed concerns about the impact on traffic and parking in the already-congested area.

And, speaking at yesterday's meeting, Pill ward member Cllr Tracey Holyoake said: "I don't think anyone is really opposing this application, but we really need to look at parking and pollution."

And Cllr Ray Mogford said: "We are building up a big problem in the city, because the more houses there are the more traffic there is."

Meanwhile Cllr Richard White said, with no alternative provision for parking at the Royal Gwent planned, he was concerned about the impact on patients and visitors.

"When you try to visit the hospital it is an absolute nightmare having to park, and taking away parking spaces will become a real problem," he said.

Members approved the application unanimously.

The western edge of the site borders the Colicolor manufacturing site. Although it is not currently believed to be in operation, the application includes a provision for extra soundproofing work on homes nearest to the facility in case it starts up again.

Although building work is reportedly planned to begin early next year, Whiteheads will be required to submit a full planning application before construction can begin.

To view the application visit newport.gov.uk/planning and search for 15/0775.