Rogerstone council seeks legal probe over housing plan
A GWENT community council is seeking independent legal advice over a controversial agreement that would see a green space sold for houses.
Rogerstone Community Council in Newport recently won an appeal over a bid for outline planning permission to build homes on Bethesda Field, despite opposition in the village.
But members of the council have now decided that an independent solicitor should look over the development agreement on the plans.
The council is now in the process of appointing a solicitor, who will give a view on the agreement for the field and its obligation on the parties now planning consent is in place, according to the council's website.
The review was requested by recently elected Labour councillors on the council, including Tom Bond.
The council has a legal agreement with RE Phillips. Cllr Bond said the firm is going to tender for a developer for the site, although he said that isn't what Labour councillors want to happen.
"We don't understand the agreement, we don't understand the implications of it. That's what we are looking into," he said.
He added: "The whole thing from a process point of view is not up to scratch. We want someone to tell us what our liabilities are and what the options are for the council."
Deputy chairman of Rogerstone council William Palmer said he was happy to go along with the proposal: "It proves to the Bethesda Action Group and the people of Rogerstone as far as we are concerned, we did it correctly.
"We have got nothing to hide."It has also emerged that Newport council will not have to pay Rogerstone council's costs for the appeal, which it lost.
A meeting of Newport council planning committee heard Rogerstone council has not made an application to recover the costs of the appeal, which involved a public inquiry.