DERELICT land near Blackwood could be transformed into a 175-house complex after a Caerphilly County Borough Council decision.

Applicants Filigree Trading Ltd and Julian Hodge Bank, plan to transform 4.4 hectares of grass and marshland at Hawtin Park Industrial Estate, Gelli-haf, Pontllanfraith into a housing estate.

The application for outline planning permission hopes to change the site from commercial to residential use and was put on hold by committee on Wednesday, April 6.

The 11.67 hectare site is composed of a number of “field parcels” which form an irregular shaped area of land positioned close to the hillside ridge which separates the Islwyn and Rhymney valleys.

The developer's “masterplan” sets out a vision of how the site could be accommodated with additional highway improvements and footpaths.

Proposed improvements include access via a new junction onto the A4049, subject to a section 106 agreement.

The agreement will require the developer to follow a number of rules set out by Caerphilly County Borough Council addressing the environment, highways and "visual amenity."

Primary guidelines for the development include 25 percent provision of affordable housing and the transfer of a “retained area of land” for a nature reserve, with the developer donating funds towards its long term management.

Other guidelines in the agreement include the protection of breeding birds, protected species and trees and a 25-year plan to maintain and “enhance” biodiversity.

Highway safety plans and noise reduction measures are also addressed in the agreement.

Committee heads described the development as a “meaningful contribution” towards the council’s five year housing supply while councillors welcomed the plans.

At the meeting, Cllr Mike Adams; of Pontllanfraith ward, added he was “happy to support it.”