PLANS to build 345 homes on a former industrial site in Chepstow could cause a "logistical nightmare" in the town, critics have said.

The proposed Barratt Homes development on the former Fairfield Mabey Bridge site has been recommended for approval and the reserved matters application will be considered by Monmouthshire County Council's planning committee on Tuesday, May 7.

Mark Hand, the local authority's head of planning, told the Free Press the development would be "an asset to the county".

He added: "It will breathe life into the former industrial site, which until now has been derelict. It will provide a fantastic opportunity to regenerate Monmouthshire’s largest brownfield site and deliver much-needed housing and commercial space to the area increasing the potential for future generations."

But since the application was filed, more than 140 objections have been submitted to the local authority, with many people concerned the sizeable development will exacerbate pressures on the town's infrastructure and public facilities.

One Chepstow resident told the Free Press this week: "Building all these houses and adding to Chepstow's horrendous traffic, without some improvement of infrastructure, does not seem to be a great idea.

"People already get stuck in [the] Tesco car park trying to get in and out. It's gridlock at peak times on the A48 in town in both directions, coming across the Wye Bridge and up and down Hardwick Hill. Bulwark Corner is a nightmare.

"Adding to this misery for motorists and residents with even more traffic generated by the occupants of these new homes doesn't really appear to be very sensible."

County councillor Armand Watts has also raised several concerns about the development. He said he had "never seen a decision as bad" as the local authority's decision to recommend the plans for approval.

Cllr Watts said two ongoing housing developments over the border, as well as one in Lydney, would create a "bottleneck" and cripple the town's traffic flow by adding hundreds more cars to Chepstow's roads.

This would "destroy the town," Cllr Watts said.

He said the town's facilities, already at capacity, would be under further strain if the Fairfield-Mabey plans went ahead.

"Our schools are full, our doctors' [surgeries] are full," Cllr Watts said. "The 21st-century school Monmouthshire County Council were going to build has been put off.

"Parents are getting up earlier to try and get their kids to school – it's absolutely chaotic.

"Parents are already concerned, and staff are struggling to get to work [because of the town's current traffic problems."

He added: "What [the local authority] is trying to do is build houses before infrastructure. Logistically, this will be a nightmare."

Mr Hand said the revised plans for the site were "significantly smaller" than the original application for up to 450 homes. He acknowledged some road improvements would be needed but said they had been agreed with the council's highways team and the Welsh Government. He said road works would be constructed "before the vast majority of the development is occupied".

A series of pedestrian and cycle links would "prevent an influx of cars travelling into the town centre" from the Fairfield-Mabey site, Mr Hand said, and a waterfront path would link to the Wales Coast Path.

He added: "The homes and employment opportunities will be in easy walking and cycling distance of the train station, bus routes and the town centre amenities."