Seven new homes in a rural village are facing demolition after security chiefs determined their driveways were too steep.
Families were horrified when supervisors decided that 30-foot driving outside their home in the mountain village is too steep to park cars safely.
And they warned that cars could run down the road into the lake opposite after the homes were built higher than the building permit given to the developers.
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Neighbors in the four-year-old row of six semi-finals and a detached house are battling the nightmare of seeing their home demolished – hoping to reach a “sensible solution”.
Homeowner Andrew Pugh said: “As you can imagine, the cost to ourselves if this is rejected will be catastrophic as we have all paid around £ 200,000 each for these houses.
“We should not know about these problems. We are in a state of shock over how it was allowed to happen.
“As far as we knew, everything was overboard and legally transparent.”
A neighbor added: “It’s really ridiculous – we just hope people see it make sense and that the houses are not demolished.
“We’ve been here for three years and the houses are lovely. We’re just trying to stay calm because there’s not much we can do about the building permit issue. It’s a nice place to live and we would not have moved in if we thought the ride was too steep. ”
Another neighbor, who asked not to be named, also said: “Many people feel that this is just a seizure of the council.
“They were not happy that the Welsh government went over their heads to approve the houses on the old school site. So now they are digging their heels in.
“There have to be lots of solutions rather than overthrow the houses. It would just be a scandal in these times where people are homeless.”
The houses in Rhes yr Ysgol were built on the site of the former village school in Blaina, near the Abertillery.
The application was initially rejected by the Blaenau Gwent Council in 2014. But this was later overturned by planning inspectors from the Welsh government and the homes were built in 2018.
But city officials said the homes did not match the planning permit – including problems with the steep driveways surrounded by high walls that block the view of the road.
The client D3 Ejendomsudvikling submitted an amended plan application to be allowed to keep the homes.
Peter Barnes, agent for D3 Property Developments, told councilors that the developer had agreed to lower the driveway walls to improve road visibility.
“The alternative is to go into chaos,” Mr Barnes said.
Cllr John Hill said: “We are in a situation where we have to solve this and the answer can not be to tear down the houses, we have to find a way to take care of these people.”
But planners recommended refusal of a building permit because the steep driveways meant that there was a risk of cars rolling into the road – and that the view from the driveways is also obstructed.
Blaenau Gwent Council’s development team leader, Eirlys Hallett, said road safety issues were the biggest problem that stopped the planning permission for the houses.
Mrs Hallett said: “These problems are gradient of driveways and visibility.”
Her report explained that the steep driveways meant there was a risk that cars would roll back onto the road.
Planner Jane Engel said: “Consultation has been conducted with owners / residents of all seven properties.”
She added that motorway officers believe the problems had not been resolved and that the development “remains a potential danger to the public motorway.”
Planning managers must consider the row in hopes of reaching a decision on whether the homes can be made safe or demolished.
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