A PLAN to use a home in Cwmbran as emergency accommodation for homeless people in Monmouthshire has been approved.

Torfaen councillors approved proposals to convert a house in Hanbury Close, Northville, into temporary accommodation for up to four people at a planning committee meeting on Tuesday.

But questions were raised over why the house will be for homeless people in Monmouthshire, rather than Torfaen.


The home will be managed by Monmouthshire County Council, providing a 'stepping stone' for homeless people.

Cllr Jason O'Connell said it felt 'wrong morally' when the authority is struggling to help its own homeless people.

"It leaves a bad taste in my mouth if we are bringing in people from Monmouthshire when we've got people in Cwmbran park who are sleeping in tents because we cannot provide housing for them," he said.

Richard Lewis, head of planning and development, said the fact the facility will be for homeless people in Monmouthshire is not a planning consideration, but an issue which could be raised by councillors elsewhere.

However Cllr Stuart Ashley disagreed, saying the authority's statutory obligation is for people in the borough.

Cllr Ashley said there are many people on the borough's housing waiting list, and only a 'finite' amount of resources.

But Cllr Gwyn Jenkins said it did not matter that the house will be for homeless people from Monmouthshire.

"I do not care where they come from," he said. "If they come from Iraq, Istanbul, wherever, at the end of the day if we can help the homeless in Torfaen I do not care where they come from."

Cllr Veronica Crick said that homeless people in Torfaen may also be being housed elsewhere as part of regional collaborations.

She said that councillors needed to know what is happening to help the borough's homeless, but that it was not an issue for a planning committee meeting.

Some concerns over no parking for the property being proposed were also raised.

But the meeting was told there is a communal parking space at the end of the road, and that car ownership is expected to be lower for the type of accommodation proposed.