PLANS for a detached four-bedroom house at Rassau, Ebbw Vale, have been narrowly approved by Blaeanau Gwent planners.

At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s planning committee on Thursday, July 28, councillors discussed the application by Mr L McPherson to build on land next to Tŷ Coed, Sycamore Drive.

Parking for three cars would be provided at the house.

Outline planning permission to build two houses on the plot had been granted in 2005.

But a petition signed by neighbours raised several concerns including loss of privacy due to the house looking down on theirs, and that the development would cause flooding issues.

South Wales Argus: A graphic of how the house could look.

An artist's impression of how the house could look

Planning officer Sophie Godfrey told councillors that the house would be higher than neighbouring properties but that this was a “natural built form” for Sycamore Drive with the dwellings “stepping up in height.”

Ms Godfrey advised councillors to grant the application.

Earlier in the meeting Cllr David Wilkshire declared an interest and told councillors that he had “been advised” not to speak on the proposal.

Committee chairwoman, Cllr Lisa Winnett pointed out that Cllr Wilkshire had been advised not to speak from the legal officers.

Cllr Derrick Bevan said 14 residents had signed the petition and asked if any of them had attended the meeting to speak on the application.

But Cllr Wilkshire said: “We’ve had nobody come forward stating they want to speak.

“We all know how many days before a planning meeting you have to put in your request to speak in the meeting and none were in the time frame.”

Cllr Bevan asked whether the petitioners knew of the time frame as he was “surprised” no-one was at the meeting to represent them.

Cllr Winnett said: “That’s down to the ward member to advise them.”

Cllr George Humphreys said: “It seems to me that this property will look down on others, which is a concern for me especially when you have 14 people raise this petition.

“It doesn’t seem straight forward.”

He was concerned that approving the plans would create “ill-feeling” that could go on for “many years.”

Ms Godfrey said that the distance between properties and that the applicant was proposing to plant trees along the front boundary solved this issue,.

Ms Godfrey said: “It is considered that this loss of privacy issues and overlooking are mitigated.”

Cllr Hill said that there with Blaenau Gwent’s landscape there “is no flat space.”

Cllr Hill said: “This will be a nice property to have on the site.”

He proposed moving the application to a vote.

Four councillors voted in favour of the scheme and two against.

Before building work can start a sustainable drainage scheme for the land would also need to approved.