PLANS to build nearly 100 homes on a former school site in Newport have been stalled over concerns about emergency vehicle access.

Councillors voted to defer an outline application for up to 96 homes on the former site of Newport High School in Queen’s Hill at a meeting on Wednesday.

Residents have raised concerns the development will increase traffic on already busy roads in the area.

And at the planning committee meeting, ward councillors for Allt-yr-yn Matthew Evans and David Fouweather raised concerns about the size of the proposed development.

Cllr Fouweather said: “It is clearly an overdevelopment of the site. Ninety-six properties are too many.”

The Conservative councillor said 50 “good quality” homes would be enough, and would also allow for green space in the development.

Cllr Evans raised concerns about a loss of trees and said that environmental considerations appear to have been given “short shrift.” He said the application represented a “missed opportunity” to enhance the area.

Cllr Fouweather pressed for clarification on how fire engines would access the rear of St Mary’s RC Primary School

“It’s really important access is available 24 hours a day so that the school can be safely run otherwise we will have a problem,” he said.

“I would not want to stand here and say that because we did not do something properly at the planning committee there’s been a fire at the school and something has happened.”

Matthew McEwan, from the council’s traffic management team, said it was understood the fire service could access the school from Queen’s Hill, but if that was not the case officers would have to reconsider their comments.

But councillor Christine Jenkins said the answers over access to the site were “not good enough.”

She added: “There’s too many ifs and buts, you’re talking about children’s lives here.”

Cllr Miqdad Al-Nuaimi said it was ‘premature’ to make a decision on the issue as there too many details missing.

And Tracey Brooks, from the council’s regeneration, investment and housing department, she was “not confident” that answers over emergency access were available and that the issue could be deferred.

Cllr Al-Nuaimi said he wanted to see a full application, rather than outline, submitted.

Ms Brooks said there was no obligation on the developer to do this, though the committee’s concerns would be raised.

The development would include 14 affordable homes, and would require two houses in Fields Road to be demolished to provide room for a new vehicular access.

Another application for a new play area, canteen and pick up/drop off point at St Mary’s RC Primary School was also deferred until further information about emergency vehicle access is found.