CONDITIONS that will allow the extension of an industrial estate despite the risk of flooding have been approved by councillors.
Monmouthshire County Council’s planning committee approved the application for 12 new units – which its claimed could create 100 new permanent jobs at the Severn Bridge Industrial Estate in Caldicot – due to the potential economic benefits at their August meeting despite being recommended to refuse the application.
It was put before the committee at the request of the council’s head of planning, Craig O’Connor, so councillors could make a judgement whether to give the plans the go-ahead or reject them as the council’s planning officers were unable to recommend approval due to the advice from environmental body Natural Resources Wales that the site is at risk of flooding.
It was the second consecutive meeting where councillors had been asked to decide an application recommended for refusal, due to the body’s advice, having in July approved plans for new housing in Monmouth.
As a result of the approval for the new units at the industrial estate a set of 20 conditions were brought back to the committee’s October meeting for them to approve.
Labour member Tony Easton, who represents the Dewstow ward, said the committee should approve them. He said: “I live 100 yards from this particular site and I’ve never seen it flood although it is in a flood risk area.”
When the committee approved the application in August the councillor said the area had last flooded in 2015 and was blamed on a failure to operate a sluice gate.
Committee chairman, Caerwent Conservative member Phil Murphy, said the committee had given it “considerable debate” in August and had “approved, against officer recommendation in relation to national flooding policy, given planning balance and benefit of economic development outweighing the flooding risk.”
Planning officer Adam Foote said the land is allocated for industrial use in the council’s approved development plan reminded the committee they had supported an outline application, meaning final details still need to be approved. The conditions approved relate to landscaping, site boundaries and to ensure “adequate safeguarding of any neighbouring residents”.
In August the committee was told a flood consequence assessment showed there would be no off site impacts from any flood prevention measures. At the meeting it was also stated the new units would support 100 new permanent jobs and 60 during construction.
Mr Foote said the decision had been reported to Natural Resources Wales which hadn’t suggested any further conditions other than the flood assessment be approved.