PLANS to build 277 homes on a former school and college site in Ebbw Vale have been unanimously approved by councillors.

A mixture of two, three and four-bedroom houses are proposed on the site of the former Ebbw Vale Comprehensive School and College, which now lies vacant.

The scheme, proposed by developer Persimmon Homes and housing association United Welsh, includes 20 per cent affordable housing, equating to 55 houses.


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Council planners say the development is a “key piece of the jigsaw” to the regeneration of Ebbw Vale’s ‘Northern Corridor’, which is earmarked for around 800 homes.

At a Blaenau Gwent planning meeting on Thursday, Cllr Lisa Winnett said her “only disappointment” was that no bungalows are included in the development.

“We need to try and get a diversity of properties in a large scheme like this to cater for older people, and younger people too,” she said. “It would be nice if going forward on other sites we could say we need X amount of bungalows.”

A cycle route through the site linking Waun y Pound Road and College Road is also included in the proposals.

And the developer has agreed to contribute £783,354 towards education provision, which will be split between Glyncoed and Willowtown Primary Schools.

Cllr David Wilkshire said he was "disappointed" only two schools would benefit from the cash though, questioning whether others in the area could also receive a portion.

Planning officers said those two schools would receive the money as they are in the catchment area of the development.

The proposal will contribute to plans to build 1,179 new houses in the Ebbw Vale area, with the level of building having been low in recent years.

A planning report says: “Build rates have been exceptionally low over the past few years and increasing private sector investment in the borough is a key objective in improving the economic outlook.”

Large areas of green space are included within the development, although some concerns were raised by the council’s ecologist over a loss of biodiversity.

The authority’s green infrastructure managers also voiced worries over some trees being lost, adding that replacement planting proposed is “piecemeal and insufficient to fully mitigate this net loss.”

A “more robust” landscaping strategy has been requested.

Steve Smith, the council’s service manager for development, advised that the issues could be resolved with a planning condition and need not hold up the application.