CONTENTIOUS plans to build up to 155 homes on a greenfield site in Monmouthshire have been given the green light.

Councillors on Monmouthshire council’s planning committee have approved a ‘hybrid’ planning application for the development on fields either side of Vinegar Hill in Undy.

The plans include a full application for 72 homes on two fields, and outline permission for a further 83 on another parcel of land in the area.

A mix of flats and two-, three- and four-bedroom homes are proposed, with the overall development including 25 per cent affordable housing.

Dozens of objections were lodged in response to the plans – with concerns over a loss of green space, traffic issues and infrastructure – and ward members voiced opposition at a planning committee meeting on Wednesday.

Cllr Lisa Dymock said she feared doctors’ surgeries could not cope with the increase in population and said the loss of green space would “significantly impact Undy residents”.

Cllr Dymock said the fields where the housing is proposed have provided a “vital space” for residents during Covid-19 lockdowns.

She also questioned the proposed location near the M4, asking, “Is this really the best site for good housing with the constant noise and pollution of traffic?”

Cllr Frances Taylor raised concerns over the affordable housing being grouped together in the development.

Twelve of 18 affordable homes in the full application are in one corner of the site.

However this complies with Monmouthshire council planning guidance which allows up to 15.

Kate Coventry, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said the provision of 25 per cent affordable housing would help meet the ‘shortfall’ in the county.

Ms Coventry also said the development is “designed around green infrastructure”, pointing to the benefits of hedgerow and tree planting proposed.

The amended plans include the partial closure of Vinegar Hill, in response to objections over original plans to close it fully, and Ms Coventry said this was “the most practical” solution.

Cllr Maureen Powell agreed with the proposal and said it offered an ‘improvement’.

Cllr Louise Brown called for acoustic fencing to be considered for a section of the site near the M4, to protect residents from noise.

However the proposal was rejected following a vote.

Caldicot councillor Tony Easson said the development forms part of around 1,500 homes being built in the area and raised concerns over infrastructure.

However the meeting heard the site is allocated for housing in Monmouthshire’s Local Development Plan.

The application was approved by the committee.