PLANS for a three-storey block of flats in Pontymister which will be “the height of three double decker buses on top of each other” have been given the green light.

The proposals will see 18 one-bedroom apartments built on the site of the former Pontymister petrol station in Newport Road, with all of the homes classed as affordable housing.

Caerphilly planning officers backed the plans, saying the building will be a “striking feature” for people entering Pontymister, but objectors called the proposed building ‘monstrous.’


The building will be 11.6 metres in height, with the site already raised above the road by around 1.5 metres, making it significantly taller than any other building in the area.

Objector David Brown told Caerphilly council’s planning committee on Wednesday it would be the equivalent of three 4.4-metre double decker buses on top of each other, and twice the height of a lamp post nearby.

He said the building would impact on a “beautiful place”, surrounded by trees and hedges.

“We understand there is a requirement for housing, but at what cost?” Mr Brown said.

“I think this monstrous looking building is going to be completely out of character and it is going to be an eyesore.”

But Rob Chichester, representing the applicant, said the scheme would be “an attractive and sustainable” development.

Mr Chichester said the development would help address a “chronic shortage” of one-bedroom affordable housing in the borough, bringing 18 “much-needed” homes.

Cllr Andrew Whitcombe said he was “deeply concerned” about the height of the building.

“I am reminded of the film Cast a Giant Shadow, and I think this will cast a shadow over parts of Tanybryn,” he said.

However planning officer Chris Boardman said the potential for overshadowing had been “carefully considered” and deemed acceptable.

Cllr James Fussell said the proposed building has “quite an attractive aspect to it.”

“It is going to be a large, imposing building, but we need this type of density housing,” he said.

“We are getting lambasted for not building and it is all down to affordability.”

Cllr Fussell said it would have been “far more desirable” to see some two-bedroom homes included in the development as well though.

The original scheme included 12 one-bedroom and six two-bedroom flats.

However this was changed to meet car parking requirements, with the site providing 22 parking spaces.

The plans were approved with eight in favour of the scheme, three against and three abstentions.