PLANS to build 300 homes in Blackwood have been rejected after councillors and residents deemed the proposals “unacceptable”.

Persimmon Homes sought to build on six fields north of the Grove Park estate but were met with opposition at a planning committee meeting.

More than 500 people signed three petitions against the development and the allocation of the 9.72-hectare site for housing.

The loss of the greenfield site, coupled with concerns over congestion and further pressure on services, formed the basis of the committee’s decision to refuse planning permission.

Blackwood Independent councillors Kevin Etheridge, Nigel Dix and Andrew Farina-Childs addressed the committee on Wednesday.

Cllr Etheridge expressed fears that 300 new homes would increase traffic.

“I find it totally unacceptable that no improvements are proposed on the junction with Sunnybank Road, which is opposite Blackwood Comprehensive,” he said.

Cllr Dix welcomed the Welsh Government’s decision to suspend part of a planning policy which gave considerable weight to the authority’s lack of housing land supply when planning applications are received.

“If this is approved this will open the doors to other speculative applications,” said Cllr Dix.

“People across Caerphilly who are fighting to save their green fields will be looking with interest at tonight’s vote.”

Cllr Farina-Childs added: “I have concerns with the environmental impact an extra 600 vehicles would have on our community in relation to air pollution.

“According to the original traffic impact assessment the development would lead to an increase of 125 per cent using Cefn Road. That’s an accident waiting to happen.”

Roy Williams, a Grove Park resident, said Blackwood was being developed at an “alarming rate” and said the Persimmon development would have a “devastating impact on the community and its services”.

Jason Price, an agent for Persimmon, argued the new-build estate would generate the council £375,000 in council tax receipts and create jobs during construction.

"The absence of any objections from highways and education, coupled with scale of land supply shortfall, weighs heavy in the application's favour,” he added.

Refusal will be deferred until the next planning meeting where the decision could be finalised.