A PROPOSAL for eight homes in Abergavenny, which had previously been granted planning permission, has been refused by Monmouthshire council’s planning committee due to flooding and phosphate concerns.

A plan for eight homes on the land near Cross Street, Abergavenny, was given the green light in 2015 by the county council’s planning committee.

However, this was dependent on a Section 106 agreement being signed by the applicant, guaranteeing that one of the homes would be affordable. The developer would also have to pay contributions of £31,360 towards public open-space facilities and £5,984 towards children’s play.

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The Section 106 agreement was never signed so work on the site never started. Now, six years on, the application is being reconsidered by the planning committee and recommended for refusal, due to a change in legislation around flood plains and phosphate.

In the planning meeting, several councillors raised concerns about the application.

Cllr Maureen Powell said: “There are so many things against it. “The thing that was troubling me most was the access to get to the properties.

“If you have ever driven into Abergavenny you realise how bad it is.”

As well as access concerns, the committee heard the developer had not yet signed a Section 106 agreement, which would commit to affordable housing on the site. This alone could be a reason for refusal.

However, Cllr Paul Jordan said the land could be developed on in future if the necessary issues were mitigated against, but acknowledged that “under the present circumstances we have to refuse it”.

In the 2015 application, there was no flood risk for the homes, but there were concerns over the shared access and car parking areas. 

However, because of the “shallow depths of flooding” and that the development could be “favourably considered” due to the affordable housing element, Natural Resources Wales advised they could not substantiate an objection.

Since then, the legislation changes mean that there does not need to be a balancing act and there is no need for the affordable housing element to be considered favourable, there is now resonable grounds to object to the application.

There are also concerns about phosphate. The report says: “This application proposes to connect to the main sewer which connects to the Llanfoist Waste Water Treatment Plant.

“This facility does not yet have phosphate stripping technology and therefore the possibility that additional waste water flows from the proposed development could lead to additional damaging effects to the River Usk 'special area of conservation' cannot be ruled out.”

Phosphate is a chemical, which is useful for plant growth and nutrients, but can cause problems when it becomes to concentrated in water environments.Too much phosphate can cause excessive growth of algae and other plants and can affect water quality.

Because this development cannot be ruled out from increasing levels of phosphate into the River Usk’s 'special area of conservation', Monmouthshire planners have included it as a reason to refuse the application.

If it had been given the go-ahead, a one-bedroom flat, a two-bedroom flat above four car ports, and six three-bedroom homes would have been built on the site.

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