HOUSING developers are turning the south of Caerphilly into a ‘concrete commuter belt for Cardiff while towns in the northern borough are being left to rot’, claims an AM.

Plaid Cymru AM Steffan Lewis, who represents South East Wales and Cllr Lindsay Whittle – who has campaigned against the destruction of green fields – say future homes schemes should be based on meeting local need not catering for other areas.

Research carried out for the office of Steffan Lewis apparently revealed that not a single new council house has been built in the last three years - with just 231 properties from registered social landlords being made available and 518 private builds.

And Mr Lewis said that at the same time there are nearly 900 empty homes in the county borough.

Mr Lewis said: “From Grove Park to Gwern-y-Domen it is clear the public have lost any faith in the local authority’s housing policies, which are developer-led and have no regard for community sustainability or the economic prospects for people in the area.

“They are turning the southern borough into a concrete commuter belt for Cardiff and the north of the borough is being left to rot as a series of ghost towns. This can no longer be allowed to continue.

“Things have to change and Caerphilly’s housing targets needs to be replaced with local-needs based targets. After all, there are 5,000 people on council housing waiting list and we need to help them.”

Cllr Lindsay Whittle, a former AM and leader of Caerphilly council, said: “Greedy developers don’t care where they build – they are happy to concrete over our green fields if they can make a few bob.

“This is changing the lives of people who are finding it increasingly difficult to move around the area because the infrastructure is not there – the roads, the GP surgeries, the schools and unless we call a halt everything will grind to a halt.

“Caerphilly must not become a soulless dormitory town for Cardiff and further afield. Plaid Cymru is concerned that with the scrapping of the Severn Bridge tolls, Caerphilly will be targeted for much more development while house-builders refuse to build in the northern part of Caerphilly borough. This will make it even harder for local people to afford new builds and that is not acceptable.

“The council needs to go back to the drawing board and see how best they can meet the housing needs of local people.”

Labour councillor James Pritchard also shared his anger over the lack of affordable housing.

Mr Pritchard said: ""There's obvious cross party support for the stricter enforcement of Caerphilly's affordable housing obligations. This was evident at the July 25th full Council meeting. Developers can not be allowed to keep earmarking only a tiny percentage of affordable housing units when submitting planning applications. Developers should be mandated to stick to the affordable housing targets all Councillors have voted for. This will mean local people will be able to live in their local town, rather than being priced out."

Caerphilly County Borough Council have been contacted for comment - I AM STILL WAITING FOR THEIR COMMENT BUT WILL LET YOU KNOW AS SOON AS IT COMES THROUGH