BLACKWOOD could be getting an MOT test centre in its centre if a recent planning application is approved. 

An application has been submitted to Caerphilly County Borough Council planning committee to build a commercial unit on vacant land in Pontllanfraith, a village in Blackwood. 

The application details how the commercial unit would be an MOT test centre, motor repair centre and storage, mostly using handheld tools. 

The proposal is to not only erect the building, but to also "seek approval of access, appearance, landscape and layout" on the land at Gelligroes on Mill Road. 

Submitted on Monday, March 18 by agent Paul Dellanna on behalf of a Mr Cameron Davies of Library Court, Gordon Road in Blackwood, the application shows the site is currently vacant, being used as storage. 

It would seem that any environmental or safety concerns have been considered as part of the application, particularly shown by the awareness that the land in question has previously had three planning applications for residential viewings rejected, one for semi-detached bungalows in September 1990 and another for one dwelling in March 1991. 

The most recent rejected  application was for a single-storey dwelling and garage in October 2000. 

Pre-application advice that was sought for this application shows that the previous applications had been rejected because the land was deemed more appropriate for commercial use "due to its positioning". 

The application also details the environmental and amenity considerations for the proposed three commercial units, which will "contribute positively to the economic and social fabric of the area while respecting its historical context and environmental characteristics".

The opening hours for the proposed units are 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm on Saturday and 10am to 4.30pm on Sunday and bank holidays. 

According to the application, a total of seven employees are proposed as required for the centre to be feasible, with five of these full-time and two part-time. 

The application is currently under consideration and taking comments from consultees, and can be viewed publicly on the Caerphilly Council planning portal under the reference code 24/0203/OUT.