PLANS for a controversial 1,200 home plan in Torfaen have once again been approved - despite concerns.

The South Sebastopol proposal was discussed at a Torfaen planning committee meeting on Thursday evening, after house builders Taylor Wimpey submitted an amended application to Torfaen council to try and address issued raised by residents, councillors and Torfaen Friends of earth, despite having already gained the permission to build the homes.

Five people spoke up in opposition to the plans at the meeting, but the planning committee approved the application with conditions and a section 106 agreement.

The section 106 includes a financial contribution to education in the area, affordable housing, playing fields and allotments.

Among those who raised issues was the captain of Pontnewydd Golf Club, Moelwyn Carter.

He said he fears that golf balls from their course could end up damaging properties.

One solution could be for the developer to erect a fence and maintain it on behalf of the club, he suggested.

Residents also spoke of the loss of green space between Pontypool and Cwmbran and the effect on the surrounding canal.

Torfaen Friends of the Earth representative, Carole Jacob spoke said: "The group has combated this for 18 years."

Despite this, she said the group was pleased that the revised application addressed many concerns.

Agent Robin Williams spoke on behalf of Taylor Wimpey. He highlighted that permission for the 1,200 homes had already been given but this application was to address concerns raised by the public and that the developer had listened.

A previous application for the same number of dwellings at the site was refused by full council in September 2011.

The decision was subsequently appealed and in January 2014 the Welsh Minister allowed the appeal, giving permission to build the 1,200 homes.

The majority of the application remains the same as previously approved at appeal.

The differences are:

• Downgrading of the southern access from an all vehicle access to a bus, pedestrian and cycle access only;

• Downgrading of the northern access from a bus, pedestrian and cycle access to a pedestrian and cycle access only;

• The introduction of a 40m wide buffer adjacent to the canal to the south of the canal tunnel.