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Phosphates Update July 2023

A phosphates briefing update has been prepared on the challenging environmental issue of water quality in both the River Wye and River Usk. This paper focuses on the implications for Monmouthshire in terms of development proposals and the development of the Replacement Local Development Plan (RLDP). 

The Preferred Strategy (December 2022) proposed no new site allocations in the primary settlement of Monmouth, or within the upper River Wye catchment north of Bigsweir Bridge due to the lack of an identified strategic solution to the treatment of phosphates at the Monmouth Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW) within the Plan period.   However, the Welsh Government’s response letter to the Preferred Strategy consultation advised that new site allocations should be considered in Monmouth on the basis that sufficient certainty is provided by Dwr Cymru Welsh Water’s (DCWW) planned improvements at the Monmouth Wastewater Treatment Works by 31st March 2025.

The removal of this spatial constraint in the Monmouth area means that the RLDP can allocate new affordable housing-led development within Monmouth.  It is proposed that the Deposit Plan will identify a new strategic site(s) allocation for approximately 250-300 homes in Monmouth.  This is in addition to the three legacy sites identified in the Preferred Strategy comprising 275-290 new homes carried forwards from the adopted LDP or existing planning consents/applications but unable to progress due to the phosphate restriction:

  • the current LDP allocation at Tudor Road, Wyesham (35 – 50 homes);
  • the current LDP allocation at Drewen Farm, Monmouth (110 homes);
  • the extant planning permission at Rockfield Road, Monmouth (70 homes); an
  • a new allocation for the remaining 60 homes at Rockfield Road, Monmouth.

All new site allocations will be required to deliver 50% affordable housing. There will be an opportunity to comment on any site allocations at the Deposit Plan stage in Spring 2024. We are not able to accept comments until this time.  

Candidate Sites Register

As part of the Preferred Strategy consultation, we also invited comments on the candidate sites listed in the Candidate Site Register which sets out the sites submitted during the Second Call for Candidate Sites. The Candidate Sites Register has been updated to reflect the change in approach to the phosphate challenge in the Upper River Wye Catchment following the recent Preferred Strategy consultation An additional site submitted as part of the Preferred Strategy consultation is also included in the updated Register, Land East of Abergavenny 2. There will be an opportunity to comment on these sites at the Deposit Plan stage in Spring 2024.  We are not able to accept comments until this time. Please visit the Candidate Sites page for further information.

Next Steps

In October 2023 Council endorsed updates to the Preferred Strategy following the statutory consultation/engagement in December 2022- January 2023.  You can review this report here and an easy read version of the updated Preferred Strategy here.  Work is currently progressing on the preparation of the Deposit Plan which is anticipated to be subject to statutory consultation/engagement in late Spring 2024.

 How Do I Stay Informed?

If you wish to be kept informed of the RLDP, including future consultations, please register your details or contact the Planning Policy Team.


Tel: 01633 644429