CONTENTIOUS plans to build 345 homes at the former Fairfield-Mabey Bridge site in Chepstow have been recommended for approval.

More than 140 people have objected to the Barratt Homes development, which has already received outline planning permission.

Offices, leisure facilities, a riverside park, public squares and community orchard are also proposed at the former shipyard, with its historic slipways set to be retained.

If approved, the new neighbourhood will be split into three distinct areas including ‘New Chepstow’, which includes Brunel Square – near the Grade II listed Brunel House – and Bombardon Square.

Free Press Series: An overview of the Fairfield-Mabey Bridge development. Picture: Barratt HomesAn overview of the Fairfield-Mabey Bridge development. Picture: Barratt Homes

‘The Steelyard’ will form the centre of the site and, like New Chepstow, would be “more industrial” in appearance, according to a council report.

READ MORE: Historic former Chepstow shipyard sold to housing developer for undisclosed sum

At the southernmost part of the site towards the old Beaufort Quarry, ‘Hardwick Cliffs’ would be “more domestic in character” and would be developed by David Wilson Homes.

A green corridor would straddle the banks of the River Wye, with the riverside park, community orchard and nautical-themed play areas contained within.

“The layout and design of this proposal provides a unique development that reflects its industrial past and promotes a strong sense of place,” says a report to Monmouthshire County Council’s planning committee.

Free Press Series: This is how the site looked during its shipyard daysThis is how the site looked during its shipyard days

“The proposal will provide high quality development that reflects the distinctiveness of its location."

But concerned residents say Chepstow’s infrastructure – including its roads, schools and doctor’s surgeries – would be unable to cope with increased demand.

READ MORE: Fresh calls for Chepstow bypass to help solve chronic congestion problem which has plagued area for decades

Another concern is the lack of affordable housing, with only one-and-a-half acres allocated as such within the outline plans approved in 2017.

A total of 237 of the homes would be three-bedroom, 82 four-bedroom and 26 would be two-bedroom homes, with Barratt Homes saying the makeup reflects the demand for family housing.

The outline planning application also suggests the development will include apartments and some sheltered accommodation for the elderly.

Fairfield Mabey's factory ran from 1965 until 2009. Before then the site was part of Fairfields Shipbuilding and Engineering Company from 1924 to 1965.

At more than 40 acres, it is the largest brownfield development site in Monmouthshire.

Monmouthshire County Council’s planning committee will consider the reserved matters application on May 7.