CONTROVERSIAL plans to build up to 155 homes on fields near the M4 in Undy have been amended after concerns over traffic, but residents are still not happy.

Bovis Homes submitted a hybrid application to Monmouthshire County Council in late 2019 for homes on either side of Vinegar Hill. The proposals included outline plans for up to 155 homes and a full application for 72 houses on the west side of the site.

As part of the original application Vinegar Hill would be closed, but concerns in the consultation has led the developer to rethink this. Now the plans include a partial closure of the road. 

In a letter detailing the changes, Bovis Homes’ agent says: “The northernmost section of Vinegar Hill is to be closed to vehicular traffic and turned into a greenway for pedestrian and cyclists use.

“The southern section of Vinegar Hill which bounds the development site is now going to remain open for a number of reasons including providing sufficient access for emergency and servicing vehicles, to aid in dispersing the traffic on the highway network, and to allow residents at the top end of Vinegar Hill to travel north up Vinegar Hill through the proposed development site and out onto Grange Road.”


In total, more than 100 comments have been submitted in relation to the plans, with 18 objections lodged after the amended plans had been put forward.

The main concerns raised, aside from traffic, is the over-development of the area, pollution and access concerns. 

One objector said that access to the land is restricted and the area “does not have enough facilities to support anymore new builds”.

Another objector said: “I’m very concerned about the access to Vinegar Hill being adversely affected by this development. 

“At the moment we struggle to leave our house, or come home, if there is a delivery lorry, bin lorry or any other obstruction. 

“Being such a narrow road, there are very few passing places as it is. 

“Multiple times a month I have no option but to leave my home by driving up the hill and going through to dancing hill just to be able to leave. 

“I understand that we need to stop the new development being able to drive down Vinegar Hill, as the infrastructure cannot handle the extra traffic, and I support the restrictions in place for the new development, but you cannot expect the current residents to struggle so much.”

The amended proposal for Vinegar Hill has been described as a “rat run” for traffic and “ill thought out”.

Another objector said: “This plan frightens me as a resident and dog walker, it’s already an accident waiting to happen given that Vinegar Hill is a narrow winding single track road used by walkers, school children, horse riders to name but a few. 

“I can’t imagine who thought this was ever a good idea to add ever more danger to the situation by allowing a few more hundred cars to traverse the hill.”

The council’s highways team is yet to comment on the amended application.

An integrated bicycle and pedestrian connection along Vinegar Hill is planned to connect residents to services in Magor, Undy and the wider countryside.

Despite changing the site from greenfield to residential, the application says the site is “already strongly influenced by neighbouring housing and by the M4.”

Planning documents say the M4 is located around 30 metres from the nearest site boundary.

The plans are expected to be decided by the council’s planning committee later this year.