A LONG-RUNNING dispute over the ownership of a strip of land near Cwmbran is set to come to an end with a payment of £100,000 to Torfaen council.

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey has been locked in negotiations with the local authority over the land running alongside the canal towpath in South Sebastopol since the end of 2017.

The land is required to allow 20 new houses to be built as part of the larger South Sebastopol development for 1,200 homes, which has been given outline planning permission.


It will allow residents to have direct pedestrian access from their front gardens onto the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal towpath.

Taylor Wimpey believed it owned the land to the edge of the towpath but the council disagreed.

A council report says: “Following protracted negotiations, guided by considerable legal input on both sides, Taylor Wimpey eventually conceded that the council owned the narrow strip of land in question.”

Torfaen council has provisionally agreed to dispose of the land to the developer for a one-off payment of £100,000, plus legal and surveyor fees totalling £1,000.

Councillor Kelly Preston, who has responsibility for resources, is expected to formally approve the disposal and sale of the land as an executive member decision on Monday.

The land is relatively small, totalling 0.19 acres, but the council says the £100k cost reflects “the element of “ransom” that applies in such cases.”

The council has also agreed to grant Taylor Wimpey a sewer easement to cross the canal, which will enable them to develop further land within their ownership.

It is expected the sewer will cross the canal next to the new Bevan’s Lane bridge.

A report says it will only be completed after details are agreed, having “special regard to the canal as a special and delicate asset.”

Planning permission to build 194 homes as part of the South Sebastopol development was granted in 2014, in the area known as Edlogan Wharf.