We secured full planning consent for an affordable housing scheme comprising ten houses, 12 apartments and seven supported living units in an area allocated as Important Urban Open Space and a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation within the adopted Torfaen Local Plan in Cwmbran.
The scheme will provide much needed affordable housing and supported living facilities for residents of Torfaen – an area of high demand.
Llantarnam Road, Cwmbran
St Ilan Developments
Llantarnam Road, Cwmbran
Although falling within the settlement boundary of Cwmbran, the site was allocated as an area of Important Urban Open Space and a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation within the adopted Torfaen Local Plan.
In addition, the site was covered by a blanket TPO, which also extended into mature woodland beyond the eastern boundary of the site. All of these issues presented significant constraints on the developable area of the site, compounded further by Cadw’s decision to spot list a concrete sign in the south western corner of the site part way through the consideration of the planning application.
The Council were unsupportive of the scheme at pre-application stage and also in the first few months following submission of a formal application.
Image credit: Holder Mathias Architects
Firstly, working back through the original evidence base for the adopted Local Plan, a strong argument was presented demonstrating that the site should never have been allocated as Important Urban Open Space, particularly as it falls within private ownership and could have been fenced off at any time.
Secondly, a specialist arboriculturalist was engaged to prove that several of the trees classified as category A by the Council, were more akin to category C and could be removed subject to mitigation planting.
The value of the habitats within the SINC designation was also challenged and a proportionate S106 contribution was eventually agreed for biodiversity off-setting elsewhere within the Borough. Through careful negotiation during the course of the application and revisions to the proposed layout, officers agreed to support the proposal.
Ultimately, only three units were lost from the client’s original scheme, notwithstanding the developable area being significantly reduced.
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