Wales

Gwern y Domen development: Plan for 600 homes rejected

Girl on a horse with a sign
Image caption Horse riders who used the lanes around Gwern y Domen staged a protest against the housing plans

Controversial plans to build more than 600 homes on fields surrounding Caerphilly have been rejected.

Persimmon Homes and PMG had planned to build the development at Gwern y Domen.

However, there were thousands of objections and a number of demonstrations, including one by horse riders who use the surrounding lanes.

The scheme was recommended for approval subject to conditions but Caerphilly County Borough Council's planning committee unanimously refused it.

Campaigners were concerned the development could cause traffic problems and put horses and riders in danger.

They also believed it would harm the special landscape area between Rudry and Lansbury Park.

Ward councillor Elaine Forehead questioned the over-reliance on the Caerphilly basin for new housing.

She said: "We have a brownfield site at Waterloo [near Machen] which is less than a mile away from Gwern y Domen.

"Caerphilly hasn't got the infrastructure to cope."

Image copyright Persimmon/PMG
Image caption Image of the Gwern y Domen masterplan and (inset) an impression of the open space and housing around it

Persimmon had argued the scheme would bring "significant economic benefits".

Richard Mann, deputy chief executive of United Welsh Housing Association, said people needed homes in the borough.

"I'm speaking on behalf of the 780 families who are on the waiting list right now, that's the reality," he said.

"We're just simply scratching at the surface, we need some large-scale developments to address the problem."

The council's planning development manager Tim Stephens argued the scheme would satisfy housing demand.

But committee members voted to dismiss the application.

The decision will not be finalised until the next meeting when reasons of refusal will be heard.

Jayne Garland, chairwoman of the Gwern Y Domen Conservation Group said if the developer appealed, she was "up to the fight".

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites