A controversial development of 35 dwellings on a site that was originally put in to the Local Development Plan for 12 with a maximum of 20 dwellings, due to the constraints of the surrounding narrow lanes and the visual impact of the site. 70% should have been affordable and 30% open market. After planning permission, only 40% are affordable to rent (occupying a very small section of the site). The owners of the site promised some affordable properties to buy by local employees. In fact this was the carrot that encouraged the Development Management Committee to grant permission, along with a well travelled petition signed by around 1000 people, few of whom had anything to do with Newport. The members were told the market properties would start at £100,000 and provide local workers with a step on the housing ladder. They are now coming on the market with starting prices from an eye watering £340,000 and £375,00 for the 2 bedroom properties and up to over £500,000 for 4 bedroom properties- way beyond the scope of local people, with the inevitability of more second homes, with not even a crumb for the young people living and working here. How can this be?
The impact of this development, due to the amount of houses all crammed together, and the height of the them, combined with the location next to the church and castle is nothing short of tragic. The annihilation of ancient hedge banks to create numerous access points has totally changed the character of this part of Newport. The impact of traffic on the narrow lanes surrounding has yet to be experienced. The social rented houses is separated by both fences and hedges from the market housing so that the only pedestrian route into town from them is along a narrow road with steep sides and no pavements. (See news page for ongoing battle to get a safe path installed from the rented houses through the open market site). Only one house is orientated North South and there’s not a solar panel in sight. The Town Council did not support this development. How could a National Park allow it?
This picture shows that another chunk of the ancient Bentinck hedge bank has been removed. The house behind is one of a number of houses that are for sale on the site for a staggering £525,000.
Nearing completion one of the seven houses on the Church Fields housing development ranging in price from £485,000-£525,000 that tower down over Feidr Bentinck. The ancient hollow way now totally destroyed. The hedge cut down low the length of the lane to afford the properties a view of the open fields beyond. The splayed entrance to the site (see above) joins the natural hedge bank with a newly constructed turf bank, with no attempt to create any sense of continuity between the old and the new.