DESIGNS for an innovative housing scheme in Monmouthshire aimed at first-time occupants have been unveiled by the local authority. The Elm Road scheme in Caldicot proposes to build flexibly designed affordable housing which can fit in a confined space. Under new plans submitted by Monmouthshire Housing Association (MHA), four mews-type bungalows would be built in place of rundown garages. An artist’s impression reveals modern homes with mezzanine floors and small gardens, complete with four parking spaces and a single disability space “The plan is to make homes for those people in Monmouthshire who currently cannot find suitable affordable places to live,” an MHA report reads. “Research indicates a need for a better housing product for those who wish to ‘downsize’ and those trying to get their first house. “People asked for small, manageable but spacious dwellings, with small gardens in locations with amenities close by.” The project is one of 22 affordable housing sites across Wales that will be supported by the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme. According to a supporting planning document, the purpose-built bungalows will be “small but spacious” and “built to last”. MHA hope the Elm Road scheme will address the shortage of affordable homes for young people with “diverse needs”. Work to demolish more than 30 garages on the site, many of which were disused, began last month and is expected to finish this week. But the proposal has provoked concern amongst residents of Elm Road and neighbouring streets, particularly those who still used their garages. Garage tenants have since been offered space elsewhere in Caldicot, but the decision not to provide new garages onsite was deemed “unacceptable” by one objector. An Elm Road resident said that the loss of the garages would mean that more cars would be parked on the nearby streets. And despite an exhibition on the development being held in February, some still feel that consultation had been lacking and accused MHA of “forcing” the proposals through. Others, including Dewstow councillor Tony Easson, have raised issues about the impact the development would have on traffic on “already very congested roads”. In an online objection, Cllr Easson wrote: “I am acutely aware that there is a housing need in the town but there must be a balance between houses and amenities.”