PLANS for a new community hall in Ty Sign, Risca have been rejected by Caerphilly County Borough Council’s cabinet following opposition from residents.

Agape Community Church Ty Sign (ACCTS) requested to lease land on Holly Road to build the new community hall, but residents overwhelmingly objected to the proposals during a public consultation.

ACCTS wanted to use an area of Spar Field to build the new community hall. However, the public consultation received 1,285 responses from residents –  of which 91 per cent opposed the land being leased.

Residents highlighted the loss of green space as the main reason for their objections.

The public consultation took place between August 9 and September 19.

In a cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, October 13, Cllr Philippa Leonard, who represents the Risca East ward, spoke on behalf of residents and said the “field had been enjoyed by many in the past”.

Labour councillor Leonard also said residents in the Ty Sign area have a “vision” to develop the green space by planting flowers and creating a walkway around the site.

To secure funding for this vision, an application would be made to the council’s Community Empowerment Fund, while Risca East Community Council has offered to pay for the flower beds.

One respondent who was against ACCTS’s proposal said: “Ty Sign already has two community halls that are fully booked, another hall would destroy their revenue.

“Ty Sign does not have much green space so to lose what little we have would be of great detriment to the whole community. This will not be a community hall this will be a church.”

ACCTS has been based at Channel View Hall in Ty Sign for the last 18 years.

It secured £250,000 from the Welsh Government’s Community Facilities Fund and additional funding from the National Lottery’s People and Communities programme towards the proposal.

Prior to the council’s decision, ACCTS said the development “would complement the existing spaces at the TLC café and St David’s church; providing a breadth of resources to the various groups that require community space”.

One respondent, who supported the proposal, said the plans “will allow more opportunities for the area, and the plans also show that there will still be plenty of green left.”

The consultation was primarily an online questionnaire, but paper copies were also circulated in the Ty Sign area – 1,012 respondents completed the questionnaire online, while 273 completed paper copies.