Welsh houses with steep driveways ‘could be demolished’ as cars 'could roll into lake'

·Freelance Writer
·3 min read
The driveways of the homes have been deemed too steep by health and safety officials, (Wales News Service)
The driveways of the homes have been deemed too steep by health and safety officials, (Wales News Service)

Homeowners in a village in Wales claim their properties could be demolished after health and safety chiefs ruled the steepness of their driveways pose a safety hazard.

Families in the seven houses were horrified when roads chiefs decided 30ft drives outside their homes in the mountainside village of Blaina, near Abertillery, Gwent, are too steep to safely park cars.

They warned the cars could career down onto the road into the lake opposite after the homes were built higher than planning permission given to developers.

Now neighbours in the four-year-old row of six semis and one detached home are claiming their homes could be razed – but are hoping to reach a "sensible solution” with the council.

Road safety issues were reportedly the major issue stopping planning permission for the houses. (Wales News Service)
Road safety issues were reportedly the major issue stopping planning permission for the houses. (Wales News Service)
Families in the seven houses were horrified when roads chiefs decided 30ft drives outside their homes are too steep to safely park cars. (Wales News Service)
Families in the seven houses were horrified when roads chiefs decided 30ft drives outside their homes are too steep to safely park cars. (Wales News Service)

Homeowner Andrew Pugh said: “As you can imagine the cost to ourselves if this gets turned down is going to be catastrophic, as we’ve all paid about £200,000 each for these houses.

“We weren’t to know about these issues. We are in a state of shock at how this was allowed to happen.

“As far as we were aware everything was above board and legally transparent.

The application for the building of the homes was originally refused by Blaenau Gwent Council in 2014 but this was later overturned by Welsh government planning inspectors and the homes were built in 2018.

But council officials said the homes did not match the planning permission – including problems with the steep driveways surrounded by high walls blocking the view of the road.

Developer D3 Property Developments lodged an amended planning application to be allowed to retain the homes.

Peter Barnes, agent for D3 Property Developments, told councillors that the developer had agreed to lower the driveway walls to improve the road visibility.

But planning officers recommended refusal of planning permission because the steep driveways meant there was a risk that cars would roll into the road – and that visibility from the driveways is also hampered.

Blaenau Gwent council development team manager Eirlys Hallett said road safety issues were the major issue stopping planning permission for the houses.

Hallett said: “Those issues are gradient of driveways and visibility.”

Her report explained that the steep driveways meant there was a risk that cars would roll back into the road.

Planning officers recommended refusal of planning permission for the houses because the steep driveways meant there was a risk that cars would roll into the road and the water. (Wales News Service)
Planning officers recommended refusal of planning permission for the houses because the steep driveways meant there was a risk that cars would roll into the road and the water. (Wales News Service)

Planning officer Jane Engel said: "Consultation has been carried out with the owners/occupiers of all seven properties."

She added that highways officers believe the issues had not been solved and the development "remains a potential hazard to the public highway.”

The planning chiefs are due to consider the row today in the hope of coming to a decision on whether the homes can be made safe or demolished.

Yahoo News UK has contacted Blaenau Gwent Council for comment on whether demolition is a possibility for the homes.

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