CAMPAIGNERS fighting a 111-home development which was recently approved by Monmouthshire council have been handed a boost after the decision was called in by the Welsh Government.

The contentious outline application for housing on land south of Monmouth Road in Raglan was approved last month despite hundreds of objections, a protest march and public meetings being held.

But now the plans will determined by Welsh ministers following a decision by the Welsh Government to "call in" the application.

A letter addressed to Mark Hand, head of planning at Monmouthshire council, says the application "appears to be contrary to national policy."

It says the application must demonstrate the development will create a "well connected sustainable development which minimises the need to travel and promotes greater use of the more sustainable and healthy forms of travel."

"There is no discussion of alternative more sustainable and healthy forms of transport or travel and [the development] relies on a commuted sum in the S106 legal agreement to improve local bus services," the letter says.

"In this respect, therefore, the transport hierarchy as set out in national policy appears to have been ignored as the report gives highest priority to the motor vehicle, then to public transport and no priority to more sustainable forms of transport or travel."

Welsh ministers can call in an application, which takes the decision away from the council, when a request is submitted by any person or organisation, or if an application is referred by the council.

But the powers are used 'exceptionally.'

The decision to call-in does not imply any view from the Welsh ministers about the merits of the application.

Adrian Edwards, clerk to Raglan Community Council which objected to the plans, said community councillors welcomed the decision.

The plans, submitted by Richborough Estates, include 39 affordable homes and aim to bridge a 'significant shortfall' of housing in Raglan.

Since being lodged in March, the plans were met with opposition and residents set up the Raglan Village Action Group to oppose the application.

But the application was approved at a planning committee meeting on November 6 as campaigners packed into the public gallery holding up signs against the proposals.

The original planning application will now be sent to the planning inspectorate.

Under the plans a range of house types and sizes are expected in the development, including 35 per cent affordable housing.

Access to the site will be provided by a new priority junction onto Monmouth Road.

A planning statement prepared on behalf of Richborough Estates, the applicant, says the proposal will “contribute positively and significantly towards addressing the housing supply shortfall.”

It adds: “The scheme will deliver market and affordable housing, significant areas of public open space, substantial areas of green infrastructure, biodiversity gain, the provision of a community orchard and financial contributions towards local infrastructure and services.”

But objectors raised concerns the village would not be able to sustain the development, with Monmouth MP David Davies among those to raise concerns.