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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 February 2008, 09:45 GMT
225m Bridgend 'village' planned
Bridgend
The development will be on land to the north-east of Bridgend
Final details of a 225m scheme to create a new village near Bridgend have been unveiled.

The plan is to build 1,500 homes on 200 acres (80 hectares) of agricultural land between Bridgend and the neighbouring village of Coity.

Parc Derwen was first proposed over 10 years ago, and the idea is to create a modern community where villagers will be encouraged to walk and cycle.

But while there is support, some fear it will damage nearby communities.

Work on the roads and infrastructure work is expected to start next month.

The new village, to the north east of Bridgend, will also have a small shopping centre as well as a 330-place primary and nursery school.

The village will also have 150 social housing homes, a term which covers housing owned either by the local authority or housing associations, which is rented out, usually to people on low incomes.

The site on agricultural land is close to junction 36 of the M4, and between Parc Prison and the Brackla industrial estate.

I feel sorry for the people of Coity - but unfortunately for Ella and others, Bridgend is expanding
Jeff Jones, local government consultant

The development is a joint venture between the Welsh Assembly Government and a consortium made up of Gallagher Estates, Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey.

The deal sees the developers contributing more than 5m towards local facilities and amenities.

The first part of the development will be a 4m Coity by-pass, which follows public consultation.

However, critics claim the new homes will be disastrous for the village.

Residents have been promised a green space between them and Parc Derwen, but they still fear the new village will swallow up their community.

Ella Dodd, a Coity community councillor and a member of the village association, said: "I would rather have Coity as it always has been.

"I'm quite aware that we do need affordable houses, but most of these houses are not affordable.

Location map
The location is close to Coity and junction 36 of the M4

Jeff Jones, former Labour leader of Bridgend Council, and now a local government consultant, said the scheme should have been started in 2004.

He said: "The UK government wants more housing. The Welsh assembly wants more housing. We need more housing. This is an ideal site.

"Bridgend needs another 7,600 houses up to 2016.

"I feel sorry for the people of Coity. But unfortunately for Ella and others, Bridgend is expanding, it's close to the motorway.

"People will come to Bridgend because it's an area with real potential."

He said the planned bypass would reinvigorate the nearby Brackla trading estate.

Bridgend Council leader Cheryl Green said objections in the 1990s by Coity's village association had been overruled at the time by a planning inspector.

She said: "I don't think you could pretend you are going to create another Coity here, but one would hope it would have its own identity and they would co-exist side-by-side and there wouldn't be too much impact on the village of Coity.

"It's important that the developers stick very carefully to the design brief and that any further expansion is resisted."



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Jeff Jones and Ella Dodd on the planned village



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