COUNCILLORS have approved plans for a 144-home development close to the M4 in Undy, despite concerns raised that designs for the homes ’lack style.’

A reserved matters application for housing at Rockfield Farm was given the green light by Monmouthshire council’s planning committee at a meeting on Tuesday, but calls were made for further discussions with the developer on some of the designs for the development.

Cllr David Dovey said the quality of the designs for the site were "very poor."

He said: "It lacks style, it lacks any sort of thought, it doesn’t refer in anyway to the housing around it, it doesn’t make any attempt to fit in with its surroundings - it really doesn’t do anything for the area."

In particular, Cllr Dovey criticised the ’paucity’ of designs for affordable housing at the site, claiming it would not blend in with the rest of the planned development.

But Cllr Mat Feakins said the development brought with it a good balance of affordable homes.

A total of 36 homes will be affordable, equating to 25 per cent of the development.

Councillor Phil Murphy said he supported the plans, but called for discussions with the developer to "sharpen up" some of the design features.

"These properties are going to be up for a long time and they are going to look very sad," he added.

Cllr Maureen Powell backed the call, adding that some of the design images looked "bland and flat."

Andrew Jones, from the council’s planning team, said some of the designs, in a compressed format, did not do justice to how the development would look.

Mr Jones assured councillors the quality of the affordable homes would meet required standards.

Speaking in support of the plans, Cllr Ann Webb said the county is "in desperate need of homes."

The application from Bellway Homes forms the first phase for up to 266 homes at the site, which has already received outline planning permission last year.

The development will include 12 one-bedroom flats, as well as a mix of two, three and four-bed houses on the site located between the Rockfield Grove housing estate and the M4.

A total of 396 parking spaces will be provided, as well as play areas and open spaces.

An acoustic fence would also be built to prevent noise from the M4, with glazing designed to stop noise also proposed.

Mark Hand, head of planning, added that further discussions could take place with the developer over the designs for the development.