The largest brownfield development site in Monmouthshire has been sold to Barratt Homes for an undisclosed sum.

The developer, which has submitted plans to build 345 homes on the site, has said it will start remedial work in the spring, with construction of the new development starting in the summer if permission is granted.

Barratt submitted a reserved matters planning application to build 345 homes, offices and a riverside business park on the site. Outline planning to develop the site for housing was granted in 2017.

The site, which was home to bridge builder Fairfield Mabey for many year, is close to the centre of Chepstow, on the banks of the River Wye.

Kate Beauchamp, representing the owners of the site, the Mabey Group, said: "A considerable amount of time and expense was invested in order to present the asset to the market as the Mabey family shareholders, due to their desire to leave a beneficial legacy to the people of Chepstow, wanted to ensure a smooth transition from employment to the provision of affordable and market housing suited to the needs of locals and a wider market.

"We hope that Barratt Homes will respect the legacy issues when they develop out the site over the next few years.’’

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.

The site disposal was managed by international property advisors, Savills.

Gareth Carter, a director in the Savills Cardiff development team, said they had strong interest from national and regional developers and following a shortlisting process, Barratt Homes emerged as the preferred bidder.

The sale was completed before Christmas.

He said: “The site has a total area of 45 acres and presented many challenges, including the removal of industrial buildings. In addition, site access was only possible via a tunnel below the main railway line, and with more than 1km of frontage to the River Wye, there were some sensitive ecological issues to address.

“This was one of the most interesting sites our team has worked on for many years, due to its historic connections to Brunel, who designed the original railway bridge in Chepstow in 1852.

"It was known as National Shipyard No1 in 1918 and was built up to manufacture and launch ships during the First World War and during the Second World War to manufacture landing craft.

"More recently the site was used for the production of bridge sections which were transported worldwide.

“Site marketing coincided with the decision to discontinue the Severn Bridge tolls and I have no doubt that this encouraged interest from developers who realised that Chepstow is more accessible to the south west house buying market.”

Barratt Homes regional managing director Steve Williams said: “As the UK’s leading housebuilder, we are delighted to have acquired such a large and prestigious site. This development will create valuable new homes and support many jobs during the construction and sales phase of development.

“We will now be working closely with the local council on detailed plans for the site and believe that the recent scrapping of the Severn Bridge tolls will boost the attraction of Chepstow as a place to live.”