Will USW face some difficult hurdles with their Caerleon Campus plan?

  • The University of South Wales have been told by Newport Council that they will have to provide a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment before they can submit an application to sell the Caerleon site for housing. The Assessment would need to answer wide ranging questions on traffic, the environment and biodiversity.

    Councillors Gail Giles, Paul Huntley and Cliff Suller have now written to Cadw to add their voice to the public petition requesting them to list the original campus building. Click here.

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    The news was welcomed by Caerleon Councillors Gail Giles and Cliff Suller, who will oppose housing development on the site, when the application is debated in the Planning Committee. The two councillors organised a public meeting recently and will organise another once the application has been submitted. Labour politicians representing Caerleon have  consistently opposed unwanted developments in Caerleon  for years, and despite claims by political opponents that they sat on their hands when USW decided to close the Campus, they were in fact involved in regular meetings with the University to express vigorous opposition to the closure. But the reality is that Newport Council and the Welsh Government had no power to stop them.

    The planning committee, which is a quasi-judicial body made up of councillors from all parties, has to make a decision strictly based on planning law – without favouring political or local interests.

    If the committee decide to grant outline permission, Councillor Giles and Suller will demand maximum community benefit under Section 106 legislation- sometimes known as planning gain. One of the main beneficiaries would be education projects and traffic measures.

    A  public petition opposing further housing  development in Caerleon, attracting well over 1,000 signatures, has now been handed in. But the organisers will have to resubmit it to the planning department once the planning application becomes live. 

    Meanwhile Caerleon Labour Party member, Jason Hughes, has been told that a change.org petition, asking CADW to list the original university building to prevent demolition,  cannot be considered by a formal appeal process. However CADW say that the Assistant Inspector of Historic Buildings will be visiting the site to reassess the architectural and historic interest of the building.

    Community Facebook posts claiming that oak panelling in the old building’s boardroom have been ripped out have, in response to questions from Councillor Gail Giles, been described as categorically untrue by the University. If USW remove fittings  with historical significance in the future, they say they would remain in the Newport area.

     


    April 28th, 2016 | Caerleon Labour | Comments Off on Will USW face some difficult hurdles with their Caerleon Campus plan? |

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