PLANS to build more than 100 houses in Merthyr Tydfil are set to be decided by councillors.
The application for 121 houses on land off Elm Tree Grove in Twynyrodyn is due to go before the council’s planning committee on Wednesday, August 24.
There would be 12 affordable homes included in the development from Persimmon Homes and it would be made up of one to five-bedroom detached, semi-detached and terraced properties.
The the initial proposal was for 131 houses but this has since been reduced to 121.
The majority of the houses would be two-storey, with 15 being three-storey town houses and each would have at least two parking spaces on driveways and some would include a detached garage.
A new access road would be built with a junction on to Elm Tree Grove and an area of open green space in the northern part of the site would include climbing boulders, balancing logs and grassed mounds.
In the southern part of the site, there would be a large multi-functional area of open green space, which would be part of a sustainable drainage scheme for the development.
An active travel route would be installed along the main highway in the western part of the site for pedestrians and cyclists and would link to the playground and Penheolferthyr to the north and the open spaces and existing trails to the south.
But 41 letters of objection were received during the public consultation after some changes to the plans were made.
A petition with 345 names was submitted but the planning report said there is no indication of whether those named object to the development and, if so, on what grounds.
It also said there are no addresses to indicate where they live and no signatures to validate the objections.
The concerns raised by the objectors included that the number of houses proposed on the site was increased from 120 to 130, which is far too many in a confined space.
They said traffic through Twynyrodyn is already at capacity and the additional vehicles as a result of the development would add further congestion and raise concerns with highway safety, adding this is particularly worse during school drop-off and pick-up times.
Objectors also said consideration should be given to the works taking place along the Heads of the Valleys trunk, which is contributing to the congestion problems in the area.
There were also concerns with the potential impact on air pollution in the area as a result of the additional traffic concerns about the capacity of the local schools to accommodate additional children from the new development.
They said restrictions should be put in place to prevent parking along both sides of the road at Elm Tree Grove, Bryn Terrace and Penheolferthyr and traffic re-prioritisation should be put in place at the junction of Penheolferthyr and the A4102 to facilitate any increase in traffic flow.
Safeguarding concerns were raised with the proposed houses overlooking the playground and that the new road adjacent to the playground raises highway safety concerns for children using this facility.
Other concerns included that there is an overbearing impact, a loss of access into the fields from the existing rear gardens, the loss of green space, trees,
vegetation, wildlife and the destruction of feeding grounds for bats, potential flooding and drainage problems, the dust, fumes, noise, disturbance and use of heavy machinery, the stability of the site, consultation during lockdown meaning not everyone has had a chance to express their concerns and the devaluing of properties.
In recommending approval, planning officers said: “The principle of the development is acceptable given that the site is allocated for 120 residential units.
“The development would make a significant contribution towards the
provision of new homes within a sustainable location, which includes the provision of affordable housing.
“The development has been appropriately designed to integrate with the
surrounding area and minimise any potential amenity impacts.
“A variety of house types and sizes would be provided that add interest to the development and help to meet a range of housing needs.
“It is acknowledged that there are concerns with traffic movement and congestion within the vicinity of the site during peak times and that the development would likely exacerbate these issues.
“However, appropriate highway improvement works could be implemented to
mitigate these impacts as part of a wider strategy (undertaken by the Highway Authority) to improve traffic flow in the area, of which the developer would make a contribution through CIL.
“The additional traffic generated by the development would have some impact on the AQMA.
“However, the development would not significantly increase the concentration of NO2 levels, which would remain within acceptable limits and not exceed the objectives of the AQMA.
“Whilst large areas of existing vegetation and immature woodland blocks would be lost across parts of the site, the development would provide areas of landscaped public open space that can be used for recreation and a significant amount of planting including native trees/hedgerows across the site.
“The development of the site would unavoidably have an ecological impact, notably on foraging bats, reptiles and nesting birds.
“Appropriate mitigation and enhancement measures would be implemented to avoid any harm to protected species, along with new/improved habitat environments provided.”