East Newport Development Plan: My Opinions

It’s been a while… not being in Birmingham seems to be related to not blogging.

On April 16th there was a meeting held by Newport council regarding their plans for redeveloping Newport (the map on page 8 shows the area in question).

Newport Council obviously thought that there would be little opposition to the construction of 5,100 new houses within the next 4 years, mainly on brownfield land formerly occupied by the steelworks: the production plant closed in 2001. The other 1,100 are to be built on greenfield land in the neighbouring village to the one that was home for 18 years and is where I still live outside of the university year.

Needless to say there is huge opposition to the development among local residents including myself. It can’t be described as a sustainable development when the land is likely to flood by 2100 is sea levels rise significantly: the land it’s build on isn’t called the Gwent plains for nothing! I would also point out to the council that the road that runs through my village was “ancient coastline” some time ago (over 1,000 years) but as such my parents home and the steelworks are the wrong side of it.

Ironically we had a letter on the day of the meeting from the Flood Agency asking whether we wanted to be placed on the Flood watch list as “your property is in a flood risk area,” which would provide notice if flooding was likely to occur.

So the council have obviously ignored the risk of flooding in their desire to make Newport worthy of its city status, granted in 2002. For a city of 140,000 (in 2005) it’s a huge plan that is far too ambitious, considering it’s the same size as far more significant (and well known) places such as Blackpool. They were also unable to answer whether more houses would be build within the red outline of the area on the map: which they said was the location they were looking at when developing the existing plan. There is nothing to say that they won’t build more in the future.

My mother said (quite rightly) that she moved to the area to live in a quiet area: which home definitely is when the population within 1 mile is only 200 people. Newport may be my home town but I doubt whether I’ll live there when I graduate, especially considering the way the council are currently behaving. Maybe I should consider becoming a councilor!

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