Controversial plans to convert agricultural buildings near Chepstow into offices have been given the green light.
Three buildings at Gaerllwyd Farm in Newchurch will be converted into offices, despite concerns raised by Shirenewton Community Council and local ward member Cllr Louise Brown.
A statement on behalf of the community council was read out in the planning committee.
It said the community council “strongly objects” to the application.
The community council raised concerns over the broadband speed, lack of public transport and the potential repairs the properties on the site may need.
In the meeting Cllr Brown said: “I have a concern that the application isn’t entirely ready for committee
“There’s no full site layout plan.”
She called on the committee to consider deferring the application, but ultimately it was voted through.
The plans were approved without an occupier for the buildings, which was part of the concern that Cllr Brown had, but a report on the plans said that “given the rural location of the site it is envisaged that the buildings would be occupied by businesses with a small number of employees”.
Many members, including Cllr Maureen Powell said there was a need for employment in the countryside areas.
The council received four objection letters to the plans from neighbouring properties.
The concerns raised in these letters included a loss of privacy and noise, an increase in pollution, insufficient public transport, no local desire for the plans and concerns over the strength of the broadband.
The concern over privacy comes from recent planning permission granted to the neighbouring barns.
The officer’s report says: “The site is located in open countryside, approximately 100 metres north of Gaerllwyd crossroads.
“Immediately to the west of the building is a timber building which has recently been granted planning permission for conversion to a residential unit.”
The plans had previously been submitted for a change of use to ‘general industry’ but this was withdrawn and resubmitted as an offices use following officers’ recommendations.
As part of the plans 19 car parking spaces would be provided and a welfare cabin featuring toilet and kitchen facilities for all three units will also be built on the car park.
Access to the site will be shared with the adjacent barn conversion if that development would go ahead.
The proposal will utilise the existing access into the farmyard.