Seven £200,000 homes face being DEMOLISHED as health and safety chiefs rule their driveways are too STEEP

SEVEN £200,000 homes face being demolished after health and safety chiefs ruled their driveways are too STEEP.

Families were horrified when roads chiefs decided 30ft drives outside their mountainside village Blaina homes in Gwent are too steep to safely park cars.

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

Neighbours in the four-year-old row of six semis and one detached home are battling the nightmare of seeing their homes razed – and are hoping to reach a "sensible solution".

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 homes in Rhes yr Ysgol – Welsh for School Row – were built on the site of the former village school in near Abertillery.

The application 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.

"The alternative is to descend into chaos," said Mr Barnes.

Cllr John Hill said: “We’re in a situation where we need to solve this and the answer can’t be demolishing the houses, we have to figure out a way of looking after those people.”

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 fom the driveways is also hampered.

'The alternative is to descend into chaos'

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

Mrs 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 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 on Thursday in the hope of coming to a decision on whether the homes can be made safe or demolished.

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