Merton Green Action Group

Report In the Argus 1st August 2009News RSS Feed

Caerwent campaigners fight to save green space

5:20pm Friday 31st July 2009

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A GROUP of Monmouthshire residents fighting to save their village green have submitted an application for the area to be officially registered as green land.

Campaigners in Caerwent asked Monmouthshire county council’s greens registration authority to consider an application for the Castlemead site which is under threat from the development of 145 new homes.

If the Merton Green Action Group’s application is successful, development will be banned and the land’s recreational use will be officially recognised in law.

Spokesman for the action group Adrian Spooner said the land between Merton Green and Ash Tree Road had been used by villagers for decades and insisted it was their land to enjoy.

The green is currently owned by Barratt Homes who have planning permission to build 145 houses on the 10 acre site.

But the council must now consider the campaigners’ application and could hold a public inquiry before any decision is taken.

A spokesman for the Open Spaces Society, who have been supporting the action group in their application, said: “We congratulate the group on putting together such an excellent application.

Now we need Monmouthshire county council to move swiftly through the process of registering the land so that it can be safeguarded and enjoyed forever.”



Merton Green could be protected

3:00pm Wednesday 5th August 2009

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A VILLAGE action group has applied for open land to be registered as a village green in an attempt to block a housing development.

The Merton Green Action Group at Caerwent announced their application for land at Merton Green and Ash Tree Road to be designated a village green has been submitted to Monmouthshire County Council.

Developer Barratt Homes was sold the land by the council and given planning permission for 145 houses. Residents quickly mobilised and argue they have used the land for recreation for many years.

Anne-Marie Spooner, chairwoman of the group said: "The development will encroach on much of the land and this wonderful open space will be lost forever if the building goes ahead."

The national pressure group The Open Spaces Society congratulated Merton Green for submitting their case. If the land is registered as protected the recreational rights will be legally confirmed and development ceased.

The general secretary of The Open Spaces Society Kate Ashbrook said: "We now need Monmouthshire County Council to move swiftly through the process of registering the land so it can be safeguarded."

The land consists of 10-and-a-half acres of grassland and trees, formerly belonging to the Ministry of Defence.



8:17am Wednesday 25th June 2008

A CONTROVERSIAL new housing development has been given the go-ahead in Caerwent despite a local action group claiming it will be "catastrophic" for the area.

Approval for the development of 145 new homes at the Merton Green site in Caerwent has now been given by Monmouthshire County Council's planning committee.

Head of planning at Monmouthshire County Council, George Ashworth, told the county planning committee the application to build on the land at Merton Green was a long-running saga.

He said: "In 1993 the site was included for housing in the draft Local Plan drawn up by the former Monmouth Borough Council, and an outline application was later approved, now we are dealing with the details of the scheme."

He said this was the fourth time the scheme had been scrutinised by the committee and a significant number of changes had been made to the original plans.

He added: "Our planning officer Tony Grenow has worked wonders by working with the applicants to meet local concerns.

"It has been an astonishing journey and this final scheme is an excellent design."

Members of the Merton Green Action Group, which has been embroiled in a long-running dispute with planners over the development, have hit out at the decision to give planning permission.

Spokesman for the group, Adrian Spooner, said: "We always said if this planning is approved it will be catastrophic for Caerwent.

"One hundred and forty five new homes in the village will have a momentous and negative impact on this historic site with regard to traffic, sewerage, policing. green spaces, and the character of the community.

"An urban development such as this in a long established rural community will abuse the whole concept of village life.

"It must be said that virtually no residents agree to it and the majority are wholly against it.

"Residents of Ash Tree in particular have been totally ignored and misinformed about the whole development.

"In essence we feel that there has been a dereliction of duty by the council to the people of Ash Tree Road and indeed villagers of Caerwent, by the elected members who represent them."

The local member for Caerwent, Cllr Phil Murphy, said the improvements to the sewerage system in Caerwent by the developers were very much welcome because the present situation is quite dire.

He went on to commend the improvements to the scheme brought about by negotiation.

The committee overwhelmingly approved the application.