A LOCAL councillor has called on the secretary of housing to make a final decision on the application to build 300 homes on a greenfield site. 

Cllr Kevin Etheridge, who covers the Blackwood ward, has written to cabinet secretary for housing, local government, and planning, Julie James, to ask for an update on the application for 300 homes to be built on a greenfield site in Blackwood. 

Ms James, who was minister for climate change until her role changed in 2024, last provided an update in  October 2020, when it was rejected, and was sent Cllr Etheridge's letter on May, 11, after almost five years without an official update. 

The application was originally submitted in October 2018, with developer Persimmon proposing to build a mixture of two, three and four-bedroom houses, including 75 affordable homes in the Blackwood ward.

It was originally recommended for approval by planning officers, but it was refused by planning committee members, and the house-building company appealed the committee’s decision.

The appeal has since bounced between the Welsh Government, High Courts and Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW) for redetermination, without an official final decision being communicated to residents. 

Cllr Etheridge has detailed his concerns and those of residents who live in the Grove Park area in the letter, claiming the wait "is totally unacceptable" with a number of residents contacting him about it on a regular basis. 

He has highlighted that numerous requests for a meeting with Ms James and the on-site inspector have been continually rejected. 

He said that the length of delay is something he has never experienced in his time as a councillor and described it as "sad and disappointing". 

Cllr Etheridge has previously described the approach as "uncaring" and has called for Ms James to resign if the plans are approved. 

He told the Argus: "It is unacceptable for the Minister to keep my residents waiting for years, refusal of meetings and totally ignored by the Welsh Government.

"The Minister needs to consider her position and resign if she approves these houses on a green field site."

The minister did not respond to a request for comment by the Argus