PLANS to build 'houses for the future' in place of rundown garages in Caldicot have provoked concern among residents.

More than 30 garages in Elm Road have been earmarked for demolition as part of the Welsh Government's Innovative Housing Programme.

The project, announced by the late Carl Sargeant last October, will see £19 million spent on delivering 22 housing developments across Wales.

The garages, many of which are unused, will be replaced by four 'flexibly designed' mews-style one bedroom bungalows, subject to planning approval.

Work to clear the site will start on March 19, with Monmouthshire Housing Association (MHA) expecting it to finish by April 9.

Existing tenants will be offered new garages elsewhere in Caldicot, but the decision not to build new garages on the site has been called "unacceptable" by one resident.

Another objector accused MHA and Monmouthshire County Council of "attempting to force through policies without proper consultation with the local community."

Cllr Tony Easson (Dewstow) criticised the authorities for not including him as a consultee to the planning application.

He also expressed "deep concerns" about the lack of traffic impact assessments in the proposals.

"The effect of this application will have a serious impact on the already very congested roads in the immediate vicinity," he said.

"Elm Road, Hazel Road, Sycamore Avenue and Beech Road are very narrow streets and extremely congested as it is, evicting garage tenants will just create further problems.

"I am acutely aware that there is a housing need in the town but there must be a balance between houses and amenities."

A similar scheme had been proposed at the garages in nearby Park Road but MHA have scrapped the scheme due to size constraints.

Instead, the housing association is looking at building four bungalows in Abergavenny.

A spokesman for MHA said: "MHA has had informal consultation with key stakeholders including local residents and the local planning authority (LPA).

"We will make a planning application which will invite observations from all stakeholders including local residents.

"At this time, we will hold a formal consultation with local residents and stakeholders to include the LPA and Highways Department.

"The decision as to the suitability of the scheme proposal will ultimately be adjudicated by the LPA and the Planning Committee.

"We remain committed to the success the innovative Housing Programme and continue to focus our efforts to provide vital social housing provision to those in need."