A FAILURE to claw back a six-month delay in the strategy for allocating land for developments in Torfaen could lead to a year of “unacceptable developments” on open spaces and appeals for housing.

Torfaen County Borough Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP) – which sets out areas where the authority will allow new developments – includes provision for a delay of three months – but is currently six months behind schedule.

This could mean the council has no grounds to refuse developments on open spaces – and any appeals against a refusal of planning permission could be approved as a result. A council report has warned this situation could last for more than a year.


A report said a delay in receiving grant money and the December General Election had resulted in the six-month delay.

However, the report says: “due to rephrasing of work originally anticipated for 2020 but carried out earlier there is the potential to claw back some of the time in later stages of the plan preparation.”

If there are any further delays, the Welsh Government could step in and call in the plan for their own consideration, taking the power away from the council.

Initially, the plan was due to be developed by December 2021, but there was room for a three-month delay until March 31, 2022.

The current local development plan ends in March 2021, which could leave the council in the period of “no development plan coverage” for a year, even if they recover a three-month slippage.

The revised timetable will be considered by council on March 10 and if approved will be submitted to the Welsh Government.