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Questions raised over integrity of sewage infrastructure amid plans for new housing development in Gwent

QUESTIONS have been raised whether the sewage infrastructure in part of Blaenau Gwent could cope with a new housing development being built there.

Detailed plans for 47 homes to be built in a former quarry at Rassau near Ebbw Vale will be discussed by councillors on Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s planning committee on Thursday, September 8.

Outline plans which establish the principle of development were approved in 2019 for 50 houses at Thornton’s Quarry, Nant-y-Croft Road, Rassau.

The reserved matters application by Damian Wisniewski is for 47 homes and will decide the appearance, scale, landscaping, and associated works of the development.

In her report, planning officer Helen Hinton said: “The plans submitted detail the provision of a mix of one-bedroom flats, two and four bedroom detached and semi-detached dwellings each benefitting from areas of amenity space and off-street parking, some of which would be within detached garages.

“Five of the dwellings proposed are allocated as affordable homes and
comprise four one-bedroom flats, and one two-bedroom detached house.

“The private houses consist of 18 two-bedroom houses and 24 four-bedroom houses.”

A petition signed by 32 people objecting to the proposal has been received by the council.

Six letters against the project have also been received.

These point out that the mains sewer in the area is: “antiquated and experiences frequent blockages.”

The fear is that the blockages would become more “regular” and pose a health risk.

Other objections noted are due to increased levels of traffic which would see a rise in pollution and in the risk of crashes as well as the loss of grassland for wildlife.

On the sewage issue Ms Hinton points out that Welsh Water have not raised any objections and they say that: “there is capacity within the public sewerage network” to receive the foul water from the development.

Ms Hinton said, “Being mindful that the principle of residential development of the site has been positively established, the proposal is considered to be acceptable in land use terms and housing need.”

“It is considered that the layout and design indicated would not have a detrimental impact on the residential amenity of those living closest to the site or the highway safety and free flow of traffic in the area.”

“The application is therefore considered compliant with the relevant policies of the Local Development Plan (LDP) and it is recommended that planning permission be granted.

A sustainable drainage application (SuDS) will need to be approved before building work can start.

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