The excellent readers’ letter in the Beacon regarding traffic-choked Monmouth and the approval of yet another large housing development on the outskirts of the town provided plenty of discussion, and anger, in the pub at the weekend.

Locals said they were fed up with having nowhere to park, the lack of infrastructure and the increasing number of residents putting more and more pressure on services.

Anger was levelled against the county council and, in particular, the two local representatives, Councillor Sue White and Ruth Edwards, who did not vote at a decisive planning meeting regarding the very large housing development on the farmland flood plain at Wonastow Road, Monmouth

Apparently, the voting was so close that just one of their votes could have halted the plan.

This unwanted development will seriously increase Monmouth’s traffic woes with thousands of cars and people of all ages, and by not voting these councillor have a lot to answer for. The electorate who put them into well paid jobs with expenses are entitled to an explanation.

Concern was also levelled at the county authority in no uncertain terms for their acute lack of co-operation over the development. Despite overwhelming opposition to the housing scheme from every quarter, the county kept forging ahead regardless.

Transparency may well be a logo of the county authority but it is laughable in this case with virtually no proper democratic concern showed throughout the entire planning stage.

Locals also reckoned it was virtually impossible to see up-to-date plans as they were being continuously altered and that they were unable to get answers to queries. Consequently, even at this late stage, there was a call for an investigation into the way the housing development was forced through - possibly via the association of county councils or by a completely independent body.

Regarding empty properties in the county, even a quick inquiry will reveal that these are numerous and require repair or refurbishment. Why keep building new when these properties could be brought back into use?

Interestingly, the recent flooding nationally has highlighted the value of flood plains such as the development site at Wonastow Road during exceptionally heavy downpours. Yet the county has allowed house building on the one at Monmouth which over the years has helped to prevent some very serious flooding. And nationally, the Environment Agency is seeking the co-operation of farmers to allow some of their land to be used as run-off areas during prolonged rain.

Mr Terry Johnson is right in his letter. The county councillors do need their heads banging together.

Ian Evans