VILLAGERS who opposed plans to build up to 111 homes in Raglan have praised their community’s spirit after the proposals were thrown out by Welsh ministers.

Amid significant opposition, Monmouthshire County Council had approved plans for the housing development on a greenfield site off Monmouth Road in Raglan, but that decision was overturned by the Welsh Government last week.

Alex Dyer, chairman of the Raglan Village Action Group (RVAG), said he felt the decision to refuse the plans showed how “a united community can win against all the odds”.


Villagers had first mobilised in opposition to the plans at a public consultation meeting, called by Raglan Community Council, in August last year. This was followed by a so-called ‘Say No to the 111’ walk in October, attended by more than 100 residents. Chief among their objections were the loss of the greenfield site – a popular spot for local walkers – and fears the village could not sustain the development.

In June, when planning inspector Hywel Wyn Jones visited County Hall to hear arguments for and against the proposals, members of RVAG staged a small protest outside.

In his report to the Welsh Government, Mr Jones recommended the proposals be refused, raising concerns over the development increasing car use and going against the council’s Local Development Plan (LDP) – its blueprint for housing.

Mr Jones said he anticipated the use of public transport “will be relatively low because of the convenience and time saving offered by the car in this case”.

“It is likely that many prospective residents would choose to rely on the car to a significant extent,” Mr Jones said.

The planning inspector also said the proposals went against the council’s development plan by building outside of its settlement boundary.

Mr Jones also said building on a greenfield site would result in the “loss of a nationally important agricultural resource”, which he said should carry “significant weight.”

Applicants Richborough Estates argued the need for housing in the area justified going against the council’s development plan, but Mr Jones disagreed.

The report concluded the need for housing in the area “does not justify permitting the proposed scale of development on the edge of this rural village.”