Joyful Tears as Newport Council Approves Couple’s Dream Home
There were tears of joy at Newport Council’s offices on Wednesday (December 6) as a couple’s dream home was approved by the planning committee, bringing to an end a 12-month saga.
Applicants Nathan Howells and Rachel Morgan have now secured planning permission to demolish their existing bungalow and replace it with a larger house in the village of St Brides Wentlooge, on the edge of Newport.
Some neighbours had raised concerns about the size of the new home, arguing it would exceed council rules that rural rebuilds should not be more than 30% bigger than the original property.
Indeed, planning officers rejected the couple’s original 2022 application because the designs were considered “too large”, Stephen Williams, the council’s west area development manager, told the committee.
But Mr Howells told the meeting he and Ms Morgan had made “numerous design revisions” since then, and “during each step we have followed the recommendations of the planning department”.
He argued that nearby properties “originally had the footprint” of his own home but had grown in size over the years.
The resubmitted plans for his new house were “most definitely in keeping with the rural location” of the village, he added.
Committee member Ray Mogford observed that “the area itself seems to have evolved”.
Mr Williams noted the location of the property meant the proposed new house couldn’t connect to mains sewerage, and the “only option left is a cesspit”.
Committee members Jason Jordan and John Reynolds questioned this, but the latter said a new, more modern cesspit was “going to be an improvement on what’s there, anyway”.
Noting two neighbours had objected to the new home’s footprint exceeding the council’s 30% limit, Cllr Reynolds asked where the local authority would “stand legally” if the plans were approved.
Andrew Ferguson, planning and policy manager at Newport City Council, said the starting point of any decision was “always” the Local Development Plan.
“It does exceed [the 30% limit],” Mr Ferguson said. “In context, the design scale is acceptable.”
He added: “We think it is a robust decision.”
The applicants embraced each other as members of the planning committee voted unanimously to grant planning permission for their new home.
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