DEVELOPERS of a controversial 29-house project in St Dogmaels which residents fear could trigger a landslip say they are fully aware of historic issues in the area and have appointed specialist engineers to carry out an investigation.

Obsidian Homes Ltd, of Whitland, expect to commence work on their Awel y Mor development – described as ‘a collection of around 29 contemporary homes including two, three or four-bedroom houses’ – this autumn.

But the proposal has sparked fears among locals who are calling on Pembrokeshire planners to throw out the application for what they say is an attempt to ‘impose urban design on a rural landscape’.

Villagers also say the site – adjacent to the scene of a 1994 landslide – needs a full risk assessment, including emergency response provision, long-term liability cover, long-term responsibilities for the area and remedial costs to Pembrokeshire County Council.

One, Anne Cakebread, said in a letter to Pembrokeshire County Council: “The proposed housing development above and to the left of our property is on a landslide slope adjacent to a previous serious landslide in 1994 which had a remedial scheme cost of £1.9million plus £0.5million for damaged and destroyed property.”

She also claimed there was an ‘overwhelming lack of local support’ for the proposal. “The land is currently stable and without interference will remain so,” she added.

In a statement to the Tivyside, Obsidian Homes Ltd say they are carrying out a detailed probe of the area.

“The engineers have identified the background to the historic landslips, confirmed that they do preclude the development of the site, and propose an engineering solution to include pre-bored steel cased piles to account for this by avoiding any loading of landslip deposit,” they said.

“This is detailed in the Site Investigation Report and Engineering Note which accompanies the planning application.

“The detailed design of the piling will be informed by further investigation works following any planning approval which, it is expected, will be controlled through the imposition of a condition.”