PLANS for Gwent Police to move to a new headquarters could be given the green light next week.

The force plans to leave its current base of more than 40 years in Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran, to move to a new headquarters in Llantarnam, also in Cwmbran.

A planning application to build the new HQ and multi-storey car park on Llantarnam Industrial Park has been recommended for approval when it comes before Torfaen council's planning committee on Tuesday.

A council report prepared ahead of the meeting says the design of the proposed HQ is "of a high standard and would form a landmark building within Llantarnam Park."

It is expected to be the place of work for a total of 534 staff.

The three-storey building, with a total of 5,100 sq metres of floorspace, would accommodate offices and the police control room.

No blue light services would operate out of the proposed facility though.

A three-storey car park will include 432 spaces under the plans.

The plans for the car park have been revised to include a "more attractive external colour."

A 10-metre 'security buffer' would also be in place between the building and boundary of the site to meet Home Office requirements.

However, concerns have been raised over the visual impact of the security fence on the setting of the grade II-listed Ty Coch farmhouse nearby and the wider industrial park.

The council's conservation officer writes in the report: "Although they have been revised, the proposed fence and gates remain a major concern.

"Despite the break provided by the stone bin store, these still resemble the entrance to a prison rather than an office building.

"Consequently they not only still have a significant detrimental impact upon the setting of Ty Coch, but they also fail to provide the welcoming appearance to the general public which the design and access statement claims is a key driver for the overall design of the site."

It is proposed to attach a condition to any consent granted which would allow the issue to be further explored and approved at a later date.

The Parkway Hotel has also raised concerns that the proposed parking is 'inadequate' and likely to make parking problems on the industrial estate worse. However, the council's highways engineer has supported the level of parking proposed and said it is considered acceptable.

The council report adds: "It is considered that the proposed development would be a landmark building and the scheme would secure a good level of employment within the borough."