PLANS for affordable housing in a Vale village will go ahead despite concerns from local residents.

Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning committee approved plans for 25 homes on land at Higher End in St Athan at a meeting on Thursday, May 16.

The 25 homes will be comprised of houses, flats and a bungalow.

There were concerns by some residents and a local councillor about an increase in traffic on Llantwit Major Road, where the site will be accessed from, as a result of the development.

However, council officials said this increase would not be significant and that there were no concerns over the safety of pedestrians if the development were to go ahead.

Speaking on behalf of fellow residents opposed to the plans, Helena Cook, said: “We do understand there is a need to provide housing for the population of Wales and in the Vale, but we ask the council to object to this application and prioritise the safety and welfare of residents in Higher End.”

Ms Cook said the plans will increase the current housing along Higher End by 78%.

Hundreds of homes are allocated for St Athan in the council’s current adopted local development plan (LDP).

Land at Higher End was given a total housing allocation of 220 homes.

Ms Cook called the scale of the development “unacceptable” and said “it will swamp Higher End” and “ruin the… edge of the settlement character that it has”.

Concerns were also raised by some members of the council’s planning committee who saw the development as overly car-focused.

“It is awful,” said Cllr Ian Perry. “It is a car focused development. There are all of these parking spaces.”

He went on to say that the development had too much paving and didn’t take into account the climate emergency.

He added: “We are building Wales to be like Los Angeles because we can’t understand or imagine a world without cars.”

Barry And District News: There are plans to build homes in St AthanThere are plans to build homes in St Athan (Image: Planning docs)

Barry And District News: The area to be developed is Higher End in St AthanThe area to be developed is Higher End in St Athan (Image: Google Maps)

The council’s cabinet member for neighbourhood and building services, Cllr Mark Wilson argued that the plans did take into account future generations and pointed out that homes would have solar panels on their roofs.

He said: “I think it is a very reasonable development given the scale and nature of the area and I am happy to support it.”

Conservative ward member for St Athan, Cllr Stephen Haines, also expressed concerns about the current levels of traffic on Llantwit Major Road and the increase that would be brought about by the development.

He said: “The road at present is not safe for residents, especially in the early morning and this development would only make matters worse.”

Barry And District News: There are concerns for the development including pedestrian safetyThere are concerns for the development including pedestrian safety (Image: Planning docs)

Data presented in the council’s planning report on the application shows shows the estimated increase in traffic from the development will go from 1.5 vehicle movements per minute to 1.66 per minute.

A planning agent from Asbri Planning representing applicants Newydd Housing Association at the meeting, Jon Hurley, said: “The [planning] report also concludes that the application raises no issues in relation to impact on the rural or historic landscape character of the area.”

He went on to say: “The report also states that in terms of highways matters officers are in support of the proposal as the site is a reasonable and safe walking distance from the shops, services and facilities in the centre of St Athan.

“In terms of site access, this was previously considered and granted permission as part of the outline application in 2015.”

Barry And District News: How the houses could lookHow the houses could look (Image: Planning docs)

Council planning officer, Rob Lankshear, also highlighted the need for affordable housing in the area.

Data from the council’s Homes4U waiting list shows there are currently 178 households on the waiting list in the St Athan ward.

Of these, 98 are waiting for a one bedroom property, 45 are waiting for a two bedroom property and 24 are waiting for a three bed property.

Another member of the planning committee, Cllr Ian Johnson, said the development also struck him as one that will be overly dependent on cars.

However, he highlighted the need for affordable housing in the area and moved in favour of the plans.

The plans were approved by 12 votes to four.