ANGRY residents in Caldicot have slammed Monmouthshire County Council and Barratt Homes for being “discreet” over discussions to trade some land near a new housing development.

At the beginning of August the council began correspondence with developers and residents over a change of use for land next door to the Church Road housing development near Caldicot Castle.

The land in question - 150 square metres at Heol Teifi - is a public open space, but the council has given notice that it intends to dispose of the land to the developer to allow access to the site at Church Road, and to increase capital for the council following the financial impact of the pandemic.

A consultation period is now over, and Barratt’s purchase of the land is expected to go ahead.

But residents say they feel betrayed by the council for putting the land up for sale.

South Wales Argus:

The area in red shows the Church Road 130-home development site. Heol Sirhowy is the north entrance. A new entrance is planned for the south of the development

Kevin Hall, who has lived near Heol Teifi for 10 years, said: “The housing development started (two weeks ago) with the single entrance at Heol Sirhowy for vehicles. To our knowledge it was going to be a closed estate.

“Now this new entrance will make it a through road. It means people will be able to access the development at both sides and see all the houses. It’s a marketing ploy which will cause congestion and pollution.

“But we were told when we moved here that the land would not be built on because it is for public-use only. If the council sells this land, what kind of precedent does that set?

South Wales Argus:

Heol Teifi entrance, currently home to a public open space

“If this land is to be sold then it should be sold at public auction."

The council says the plans were shared in the Free Press and with residents near the proposals.


A resident who wished to remain anonymous said: “It’s understandable that a second access would be more attractive to the developer, but why are we only hearing about it now?

“It’s my understanding that under the land at Heol Teifi is a high pressure gas line, which is dangerous to build on.”

Steve Williams, managing director for Barratt Homes South Wales, said: “This area of access is much needed as it will ease traffic movements at the northern entrance of our site. This is why we are assisting the council to bring plans forward, as we are in agreement with them the access is needed in order to benefit residents within the existing development on Church Road.

“The gas main runs under a separate piece of land and will therefore be unaffected by any development in this area.”

South Wales Argus:

The entrance is yards away from a children's play area

A council spokeswoman said: “As required under Section 123 (2A) of the Local Government Act 1972, the authority is able to dispose of public open space subject to the outcome of a minimum two-week consultation in order to invite comments from local residents and members of the public.

"The consultation is ongoing and we will be assessing the comments received with a view to determining whether disposal is appropriate.

"It is worth noting that the approved housing development does not require any additional access points other than the approved access off Heol Sirhowy.

"The council would consider sale as it would generate a capital receipt for the authority which will contribute to the delivery of frontline services.”