In December 2014, Monmouthshire County Council approved the building of 300+ houses on the controversial Wonastow road site, now known as Kingswood Gate, deed signed 19.12.2014 between MCC and South Wales Land Developments Ltd.

This was controversial not only for the flooding issues, but also for the fact that it lay separate from the town.

Undertakings were given, and signed off, that pedestrian, cycling and bus links were of paramount importance, and financial clauses were agreed with the developers to this effect. Namely, £200,000 for buses, £2,896 per household for sport and leisure facilities, and £100,000 to upgrade footpath 267, cutting across the SINC fields to Wonastow industrial estate west, William’s Field, and on to Wonastow road.

Worthy aims, and not one of them carried out, six years on, despite the fact that all of this money has now been paid, by the developers, to MCC.

Footpath 267 was specifically highlighted by the council as being of strategic importance, and “should therefore be made up to the standard of a multipurpose path”, pedestrian, cyclists and disability scooters.

The houses were duly built, the money paid over, February 2019, and path 267 remains a soggy, flooded mess, and impassable.

Meanwhile, anyone wishing to leave the estate has to take a car, for the only pedestrian option is via the notorious Link Road crossing, where you literally take your life in your hands if you step off the pavement, and if you have children; a nightmare!

Requests to the Highways Department, the Paths Officer, the Planning Deptartment, via the County Councillor, for concrete plans draw a blank. They cite requests for further grants to justify the delay, grants which have no bearing on their legal obligation to upgrade 267. And they have the money. Even a request for temporary stone scalpings at one end of the route to afford access proved to be beyond them.

Enough at present, but Kingswoods Gate-Gate needs some action from MCC, their officers, and councillors, four of them here in Monmouth.

Michael Jones (Monmouth)