It has been years in the making, but detailed proposals for land to the west of Station Road in Newport have now been approved by Telford & Wrekin Council’s planning committee.
The finalised scheme was put forward after Bloor Homes purchased two separate sites, both of which already had outline permission, and councillors said the new proposals were an improvement on what had previously been agreed.
The development will see a mix of houses and bungalows of between two and five bedrooms, including 60 affordable homes on the outskirts of the town.
The extra care flats will all be marketed as affordable rented homes, and the facility will be managed by Wrekin Housing Group.
Public open space and a multi-use games area (MUGA) also form part of the scheme, as well as the retention of the Hutchison Way, which was set to be diverted under previous plans for the site.
As a condition of the plans, Bloor Homes will contribute £3 million towards local infrastructure and services, including extra school capacity and highway improvements.
The site will be accessed from both Station Road and the A518.
Addressing the committee, Church Aston and Lilleshall councillor Andrew Eade praised the developer for taking the wishes of the local community on board in drawing up the final scheme.
He said: “Let me first make clear my total opposition to building on greenfield sites, but in particular this site, which is not only a major entrance into Newport but also a very pleasant buffer between the communities of Newport and Church Aston.
“However I would like to say that on balance, and to their credit, Bloor have been quite open to listening to our concerns and have accepted quite a large number of requests and suggestions to their original scheme.”
Councillor Eade said he did however still have concerns about loss of biodiversity and drainage.
Councillor Bill Harper, chairman of Chetwynd Aston and Woodcote Parish Council, told the committee the parish council supported the plans.
He said: “We recognise and applaud the great efforts in respect of green agendas that have been offered by Bloor.”
But he added that “not enough thought” had gone into mitigating traffic through the hamlet of Pave Lane.
Paul Degg, Bloor’s regional managing director for the Midlands and a resident of Newport, said the two applications – one for the houses and one for the extra care facility – “tidy up the numerous extant and current applications for the site” into one “comprehensive and carefully planned” scheme.
He said: “This application allows us to deliver much more in the way of benefits to the area. We are delivering better open space, including a MUGA, community orchard, enhanced landscaping as well as the Hutchison public right of way which we know holds great local importance to the existing Newport residents.”
Mr Degg added that the homes would meet the “highest standards of design quality and sustainability”.
Councillor Peter Scott, who represents Newport North and West, said the retention of the Hutchinson Way was welcome, as previous applications would have seen it diverted through residential estates.
Members said they would like to see the 30mph limit extended past the new Station Road access and other traffic mitigation measures brought in, with Councillor Janice Jones warning that to do nothing would risk “loss of life”.
Turning to the extra care apartments, Simon Thompson, Wrekin Housing Group’s director of development, said: “An extra care site, or a site for older persons, in Newport has been a bit of a holy grail for us for many years now.
“We have searched for a site that would be suitable for it and it has been really difficult.
“This has been a really welcome opportunity for us to finally get a site that can fulfil this really important need in Newport.
“This development will represent a circa £13 million investment by Wrekin Housing Group, which will be supported by £4.2 million from Homes England which has already been secured.”
Mr Thompson said work would start “as soon as possible”.
Councillors raised concerns about the number of parking spaces, with just 35 allocated for residents and seven for staff and visitors.
However planning officers said the council’s own local development plan stipulated that one parking space per two apartments was adequate.
Both sets of plans were unanimously approved by the committee.