Housing plan on ex-opencast mine site unveiled

Artist's impression of the aerial view of the proposed village centre
Image caption The plans include up to 2,000 new homes with a school, health centre and shops

Plans for up to 2,000 new homes on a valleys former opencast mine go on display later.

The proposals are for land next to the "Valleywood" film studio complex at Llanilid in Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT).

They include a primary school, health centre, library, recreation facilities and neighbourhood shops.

The site, near Bridgend, has provision for housing under the local development plan but concern has been raised about protecting the area's green belt.

The application is for the remainder of the former opencast mine where the Dragon International Film Studios complex, dubbed Valleywood, is situated.

Developers Cofton (Wales) said they believed the plans would "allow for a comprehensive and sustainable development".

RCT's local development plan has identified the site for a minimum of 1,700 new homes.

Cofton's proposals for the northern part of the site include up to 2,000 new dwellings, as well as community facilities.

Geraint John, of estate agents Savills, said the plans were "long awaited and will bring a much needed boost to the area".

Blurring of boundaries

He said: "The planning application will outline sustainable and mixed-use development, which in turn will trigger the provision of physical and social infrastructure and lasting environmental improvement to the area."

At a public examination of RCT's local development plan last month, the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) expressed concern over the potential blurring of boundaries between Llanharry, Llanilid, Llanharan and the wider Pencoed area.

CCW also raised concern over the impact on the landscape and biodiversity, and highway and traffic implications.

RCT council responded by saying the area's "green wedge" would "continue to separate developments in the Llanilid area and that biodiversity will be addressed in the master planning process".

There is a public exhibition of the plans at the Dragon film studios from 1000-1900 BST on Friday, and from 1000-1400 BST on Saturday.

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