CONTENTIOUS plans to build housing on the site of the former University of South Wales (USW) campus in Caerleon - where hit Netflix series Sex Education is filmed - are nearing a decision.

Redrow Homes, which bought the site for £6.2 million from USW, lodged plans for 218 homes on the site last November.

Now, one year later, the developer says it is hopeful of a decision on the application early next year.

South Wales Argus:

The former Caerleon Campus

The plans include retaining and converting listed buildings at the site – including the main Grade II-listed former campus building – to provide 49 homes.

A mixture of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroomed homes are proposed, including 147 open market and 22 affordable houses.

Recent changes to the scheme have prompted Caerleon Civic Society to repeat its objections to the plans.

“The Civic Society remains extremely concerned that the completed development will have a significantly detrimental impact on future air quality in High Street and Castle Street – areas where air pollution is already unacceptably high – because most of the extra traffic from the new development will have to use the current one-way system through central Caerleon,” it said.

South Wales Argus:

An artist's impression of what the site could look like. Picture: Redrow Homes

The organisation has raised fresh concerns over proposed routes for vehicles during the demolition and building work for the development, which is expected to take six years.

Chris Thomas, chairman of the civic society, said: “It is a scandal that Redrow did not engage more fully with the community in 2019 when the plans were originally being drawn up. That was the time to talk about alternative uses for the site based on full information about what was practically and commercially possible.

“Now the plans have been finalised and the civic society is in the position of having to repeat its earlier strong objections in a further effort to achieve a development of this iconic site to a standard that Caerleon, and Newport, deserves and should expect.”

A public consultation was held prior to the plans being submitted.

South Wales Argus:

An artist's impression of what the site could look like. Picture: Redrow Homes

Redrow Homes said some changes have since been made to the application following feedback.

Jane Carpenter, planning director for Redrow said: “In response to feedback from our statutory consultees, we have now submitted some changes to our plans.

“These amends are all on site and include an additional footpath, updated arrangements for visitor parking and a replan of the main boulevard in line with requests from consultees.

“The local authority has consulted on these amendments and we hope a decision on the planning application will be made in early 2021.”

It is unclear how the plans will affect Netflix series Sex Education, which uses the campus as one of its major locations. Scenes for the show's upcoming third season were reportedly being filmed earlier this year.