AN APPEAL has been lodged after plans to relocate a Lidl to a bigger site in Cwmbran and redevelop a Stagecoach depot were refused by Torfaen council.

The discount supermarket and bus company have lodged an appeal bidding to overturn the decision made by the council’s planning committee in September.

The plans were to demolish the existing Stagecoach depot on St David’s Road and replace it with a new Lidl, which would relocate from its store in Woodside Road, Cwmbran.

A new, modern Stagecoach depot was  also planned in a vacant part of the site.

Planning officers had recommended approval of the application, but councillors went against their advice due to traffic concerns around the development.

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The planning committee meeting in the autumn heard concerns over traffic from residents and councillors, particularly over a proposed access to the store off St David’s Road.

In its reasons for refusal, the council said the proposed access to the store with a right-hand turn would be “detrimental to highway safety”.

The authority also said the proposed delivery access would “cause large vehicles to reverse into the site from Somerset road and cause conflict with other traffic and pedestrians”.

But a statement appealing against the decision says the reasons given for refusal were “simply incorrect, fundamentally flawed and cannot be substantiated”.

The appeal says the site is in a location which would allow customers and staff to travel to the store without using a car.

It says there are pedestrian and cycling routes to the site, nearby bus stops and that Cwmbran railway station is located opposite the proposed delivery access for the store.

The statement also disputes concerns over the proposed access to the store, saying the planned right-hand turn was favoured over an alternative design and shown to provide a “safe access”.

It also says concerns over vehicles reversing into the site were never raised as a safety concern by the council’s highways department.

“The highway network has been shown to be capable of accommodating development traffic without significant queueing or delay,” the appeal statement adds.

“There are therefore no highway capacity or road safety issues associated with the development of the site for the proposed retail use.

“The reasons for refusal given by Torfaen County Borough Council are entirely unfounded and fundamentally flawed.”

An application for costs relating to the appeal has also been made.

The appeal will be assessed by the planning inspectorate.