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MONMOUTHSHIRE: Caldicot housing plan

MORE than 40 homes are now planned for an undeveloped piece of land near a town centre, where it was originally proposed to build just 14.

Plans for the site, which is to the north of Caldicot Comprehensive School, are due to go on display next week so local residents can have their say before a planning application is submitted.

The homes, which at present are planned to all be made available for social rent, are being developed by Monmouthshire Housing Association.

The housing provider bought the site from the county council – which had originally intended to develop the site itself for affordable housing – last autumn.

In December 2020 the then-Conservative run authority agreed to develop 14 homes on the land with the intention it would be a test site for the council which doesn’t have its own housing stock to develop its own housing.

The Labour group came to power at County Hall in May last year and promised to establish a housing company to build on publicly-owned land. It also said it would end the sale of council-owned sites.

However by October the cabinet had agreed to sell the land to Monmouthshire Housing Association.

When the decision was questioned by opposition councillors the council’s cabinet member for housing, Sarah Burch, said she had taken a “pragmatic” decision to sell the site, so it could be used for social housing, as, she said, the council isn’t yet in a position to establish its own firm to build and develop homes.

Plans now revealed by Monmouthshire Housing Association show it proposes 46 homes for the site, with 26 being one-bedroom apartments.

The remainder would be three two-bedroom apartments, 10 two-bedroom houses, five three-bedroom houses and two four-bedroom houses.

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When the cabinet agreed to the sale of the site it was told there is a shortage of one and two bedroom homes in the county and it was also hoped the council would be able to nominate tenants for homes to be allocated to.

A spokeswoman for the association said: “This sustainable location will provide modern, energy-efficient homes within walking distance of local services while enhancing the pedestrian and cycle route from Caldicot Town Centre to Caldicot Castle.

“All homes will be for rent, there are no plans for any properties for sale (affordable or outright). We will review the specific mix and allocations process closer to the time of building the homes so that we can remain flexible and react to any changing local housing pressures”.

The housing association will hold a public exhibition to explain its proposals at Caldicot Choir Hall (44 Mill Lane, Caldicot, NP26 5DD) between 3pm and 7pm on Wednesday May 17.