Result in Fairwater. 1311 reject Labour's LDP. 31 say yes. That's 97.7% who want to keep Cardiff green.
Fairwater turnout for LDP referendum 13.6% with 1344 voters. Polls only open for 5 hours with no postal vote. Great turnout
I'm sorry, but I'm not surprised by this result at all. We had a similar referendum in Pontypridd that had a vote of 90% against the Taff Vale centre redevelopment proposals in the late 90s / early 2000s. People wanted "local shops" and another leisure centre... not a car park in a dilapidated corner of Ponty park and "multinational chain stores". Well instead they got nothing - except a hole in the ground that drags the entire town down.
The choice for Wales is the same. And its the reason why I'm glad the Welsh Govt ultimately controls planning policy, not small local communities. A dynamic successful Cardiff is the best hope for Wales economically - modern economies are powered by agglomeration effects. And a bigger economy means more people who need somewhere to live. Waterhall is one of the most sustainable options we have for urban expansion in the city. It is certainly better than the planned expansion between Pontprennau and Lisvane where the road infrastructure is even poorer and there is no possibility of rail. Indeed, there are only a couple of sites within 10 miles that I can think of as being comparable - Llanharan, where development is taking place, and the area between Newport and Cardiff with access to the A48 and railway line, where a de-facto Green belt now exists.
This isn't a question about saving the countryside, or loving the city. It is local communities acting in fairly narrow self interest. Yes, there will be an impact - there will be more traffic, there will be loss of views. But there will be that for someone wherever development takes place. And the impact will be relatively more manageable here, especially given the scale of development proposed will allow for infrastructure and services to be put in place - new surgeries and schools etc. Piecemeal developments of a couple of hundred houses each don't do that.
People have the right to complain, and to campaign. But I have the right to scoff when they present it as some high principled argument about protecting our countryside, and our lesser spotted newts. Its not. Its about protecting their own back garden.. I'm sorry, that is NIMBYism.
Another referendum is being organised in the Canton district, where many residents are alarmed by traffic proposals that could see main thoroughfare Cowbridge Road East closed to all traffic bar commuters. in june!
I don't live in Cardiff but am back frequently and stay not too far from Fairwater. I know of the heavy traffic you get on Llantrisant road, which also backs up into Llandaf north. I'm not sure about what its like within Fairwater itself.
Traffic and congestion will be an issue wherever development takes place. It will be more of an issue for developments located further from Cardiff - because they will end up commuting to Cardiff. And it will be more of an issue for NE Cardiff, where there just isn't the potential for public transport on the same scale as at Waterhall. As I said there are reasons that I think Waterhall is a better option than others:
- there is scope for re-instatement of a train line, potentially serving Creigau, Llantrisant and Beddau too.
- there is also scope, if necessary, for western access from a new junction on the A4232.
- an integrated 8,000 home development has the critical mass to support community and commercial infrastructure that cannot be provided in smaller developments.
The other option is of course to build nothing - but that isn't really an option. Because what that will mean is greater upwards pressure on house prices, particularly in Cardiff. This will make life less affordable for young people. It will also mean less social mobility. And, it will mean a less successful economy, as growing businesses cannot find the staff they need in Cardiff, and instead look to locate or grow elsewhere.
And the Canton vote is going to be about what exactly? Will it be based on facts or on scare-mongering? Because at the moment there are no plans for "one way systems" or "bus only routes". What we had was a consultant's assessment of the options which stated that such options could deliver the public transport capacity required, but would have significant knock on effects on other road users. And it seems highly unlikely such a plan would be taken forward given this. If people want to make their feelings known about this particular scheme - thats fine: it will help ensure it does not happen. But what I think is likely to happen is that campaigners will try to knit the broader plans for Waterhall and this one single unlikely option together as "the council's plans". That is misrepresent to kill two birds with one stone, and do some valuable political point scoring.
I saw this happen in Pontypridd with plans to develop the town centre. There the result was the decline of a town. If we hobble Cardiff its worse - we get the continued decline of a nation.
not sure why everyone here is anonymous..... the basic issue is about the Welsh LDP process. It's rubbish, because it manages at once to give truly local communities (like Fairwater, where I live) no real say, and at the same time plan strategic issues like transport and housing on the absurdly small scale of the Welsh Counties. Cardiff is almost full, look at the map.
We don't want to lose what's left of open space. We need a regional strategy that is then open to local approval. The WG wants councils to merge in any case, so why force the nonsensical and unconnected plans to go forward?
I am not speaking for other communities, but I imagine various valleys towns like Merthyr might welcome thousands of houses on ex-industrial sites with a rapid and high capacity public transport link to Cardiff.
People in power are always interested in increasing their taxable base, having a bigger empire, so they will be easily persuaded to allow massive development. Actually. developers seem to find it quite easy to persuade local councillors to do what they want in most situations.
So does this mean now that Waterhall is now not going to happen or will the council just ignore them? I'm looking to buy a house within the next few years so I take great interest in the LDP. I live in the east of Cardiff so don't know Fairwater all too well. Was this NIMBYism or the council trying to implement a badly designed plan?
Labour should ignore this joke and plough on. Can't let some NIMBY's in Fairwater kill Cardiff. Cities which don't grow, die. End of.
Paul - we've discussed the issue of the LDP in depth on here. Full discussion can be found by searching the forum.
But the key issue here is feasibility.
The aim of the metro scheme is to improve public transport into Cardiff from the Valleys. But it will always be at least 45 minutes from Merthyr to Cardiff given the need for stops en-route. Together with further travel at either end, we're looking at commutes of often well over an hour in each direction. And, given most of the available sites are well away from the train station in Merthyr, a lot of people would simply drive - or have to drive to the station in Merthyr, clogging up that town's roads. That makes the option unattractive to many people. Furthermore, many people would want to live in Cardiff but not live in Merthyr - because an extra 3000 houses is not going to turn that into a thriving city with the kind of amenities Cardiff has now does it?
So instead of decamping to Merthyr and pushing up house prices sufficiently there to make development of expensive-to-develop brownfield sites economically viable - the development just won't take place. Merthyr will remain Merthyr and Cardiff won't fulfill its potential as the dynamic capital city of Wales.
This is the problem Wales has been facing for years - trying to push economic activity and people back up the Valleys, when what we need to be doing is adapting to the changed economic enviroment which makes cities the driving force for economic activity.
It might be feasible to get more people living in sourthern RCT, Caerphilly, and. But there the public transport isn't great and we would definitely have extra traffic.
I agree we probably do want wider regional planning, but to help get around very localised opposition - not to pander to it. I think with wider regional planning we'd still end up finding the feasible, sustainable and most economically beneficial option as being concentrating development around Cardiff rather than trying to spread it out in Merthyr, Aberdare, and Maesteg. Such proposals might garner support but they would not pass the credibility test.
The UK is poorer than it should be because we box in our successful cities with Green belts and restrictive planning. Even crowded countries like the Netherlands do a better job of this - and thats one reason why they much higher labour productivity.
"With only 31 voters out of over ten thousand in the ward supporting the controversial plan,"
What? are we assuming that every single abstention are voting "No" now or what? Is that poorly produced organ, merely some partisan mouthpiece or other?
Long time reader, rarely post but this thread has stirred me to comment
I was brought up in Fairwater and only moved away three years ago but half my family still live there so I'm there all the time. Traffic has always been a problem and its going to get worse no mater what. It used to take my school bus 20 mins to go from the Green to Waun-Gron station so I understand fully the issue with traffic. But blocking a much needed development that will secure not only jobs, economic stimulus, more local services and more importantly houses for the next generation (not to mention an upgrade on the city line!) Stoping that will not make the traffic any better. The council will not fund capacity improvements if there is no associated development.
I've always thought the problem with Fairwater and its traffic stems from the number of schools in the area 7 of them with a cluster in Pentrebane and two secondary schools (8 if you include Bishop of Llandaff as buses and cars still drop them off on Pwllmelin Road) thats a lot of schools for a relatively small area and to top it off unlike most developments of the time and size our road infrastructure is biased on the old country lanes. These two clash and I believe they cause most of the issues. Maybe the council could re-organise the schools ... but that would be a can of worms for another day.
I hope the development goes ahead, it will be great for Cardiff, Capital Region, the metro ambition and Wales. rather selfishly i get to move back to an area where i grew up near my family, in a nice affordable house with a garden instead of living in an expensive rented shoe box.
I don't have much time for Mcavoy.
Canton, Splott, Llandaff, Whitchurch..they were all surrounded by green fields once. Perhaps we should have stopped building the city then?
Very backwards thinking from Plaid and the people of Fairwater.
There is plenty of housing development already going on in the Valleys and other areas. Both Bridgend and Newport are having new suburbs created, Caerphilly has been building on brownfild sites for years and I can count five sites off the top of my head that are having this type of development in the town centre alone. Southern RCT had been growing in the last few years as well. Just drive through Llanharan and you'll see plenty of homes that have gone up in the last few years.
These are just some examples of places I frequently visit, let alone plenty of other developments planned in the LDPs of each authority.
I would add to what Kyle says.
Bridgend is building around 2000 homes at Parc Derwen, having a few years ago completely a major development of a similar size at Broadlands. And of course in the 1980s and 1990s there was the huge development at Brackla.
Caerphilly is having ongoing developments after, in the 1990s and 2000s, major developments to the west.
A couple of thousand new homes are planned to the South and West of Llanharan. New homes are also planned around Beddau, and around Church Village, and around Tonyrefail.
Major developments are taking place at Llanwern in Newport, and at Coed Darcy in Neath-Port Talbot. These are of course large brownfield sites, that is true, and it is great that they are being redeveloped. Now unfortunately, Cardiff does not have available brownfield sites on this scale. And those sites we do have - Ely Bridge, Dumballs Road, Roath Basin, are already earmarked for development, and are largely suitable for high density developments. Given the need for some lower density developments of houses rather than flats, greefield development, like in Bridgend, and sourthern RCT, is also going to be necessary.
I said about 2000 homes, and 1500 is close enough for the point I was making - that substantial greenfield development is taking place in other county boroughs (given the size of Bridgend town, its equivalent to around 12000 homes in Cardiff.. and it follows other large urban extensions in Bridgend).
I agree that public transport is really important. But at least at Waterhall it is an option, as it is at Llanharan, and in Trowbridge (no idea why that site isn't part of the plans anymore.. it should be!). In many areas, it really isn't an option - like Parc Derwen, or North East Cardiff.
And I disagree that density should be higher on the inner city urban sites. Why are young people being forced to live ever closer together in small pokey flats, as more substantial homes in the suburbs move further out of reach because of constrained supply?
Basing plans on assumed higher densities in inner city brownfield sites just doesn't stack up. The previous LDP banked on something like 1800 homes on the sports village site, instead of the 1000 or so that are now being developed - the old scheme just wasn't viable. Roath Basin is already at a high density and will provide around 1000 apartments. And the idea behind Ely Bridge is for it to be a mix of houses and apartments - a mixed community. Not another apartment development inhabited solely by young singles and couples without children (look at the demographics of the bay LTSOAs to see just how much 25 - 34 year olds dominate the new apartments; a few have babies but move soon afterwards). Now you may wax lyrical about the family sized apartments being built on the continent - but Wales is not on the continent, and Brits still like houses. As long as thats the case house builders will continue to tailor houses to families and flats to those without children.
@voice of reason
Are you really making a point that parc derwen is 2000 rather than 1500 or vice versa. You need to learn the concept of materiality. You do you argument no justice by being that pedantic. Give it a rest
The tens of thousands of occupiers come from:
a) Pent up demand, given the increase in house sharing and people staying at their parents longer we've seen in recent years
b) More births than deaths
And, yes, Cardiff might have to start opening schools again soon. The issue is we had a massive fall in the birth rate between the early 90s and early 2000s, which meant a big fall in the school-aged population. Then in the early 2000s, the birth rate increased substantially, especially in our cities.
Now I don't know whether they've kept the sites of most of the closed schools - I hope so. But the rebound in the number of children will certainly be a challenge for Cardiff. Presently it looks worse at primary level as lots of people move out of the city by the time their children are secondary age (whether to get bigger properties, or for career reasons, I'm not sure).
Newport seems to be building houses like mad, aside from the massive Glan Llyn/Llanwern project there is of course Redrow's Mon Bank, proposed new developments at the former Tredegar golf course, Anglian Water want to build 200 homes at Celtic Way in Coedkernew plus another potential project at the old Whitehead Steelworks.
Cardiff is falling terribly behind in house building, the council needs to get a move on.
Urgh. As I said, I was making a point about there being substantial building outside of Cardiff on greenfields - whether it was 1,500 or 2,000 or 2,500, that point would have stood. If it were 500 homes, it would have been a different kettle of fish.
Jantra was making a valid point about pedantry and materiality *in this context*.
The ongoing use of vacuous and gratuitous insults really does make it hard to take your other points seriously.
I was thnking about the Fairwater proposals and it seems to me that an awful lot depends on the Metro link.
Given the congestion that already exists on the Llantrisant Rd / Cathedral Road corridor and the PDR any development to the north west of the city is going to be problematic without decent public transport.
Funnily enough we have been here before - when Cardiff aquired it's first passenger only railway - the Coryton line. It came about by accident when the Cardiff Rail Company's plans for an additional route for coal trains from Pontypridd was sabotaged by the TVR and the line was truncated - first at Treforest and later, Coryton.
The presence of the line led, first to the construction of Rhiwbina Garden Village, and then to all that followed in Rhiwbina and Coryton. I wonder if Fairwater residents would be less concerned if the developments were contingent on the Metro opening first?
I know that Cllr McEvoy and some of the protesters also oppose the Metro proposal - particularly if it involves the Cowbridge Rd. bus-lane option, but development with a tram link would surely be preferable to development without one.
As one who voted no, I am not opposed to development from a nimby viewpoint. I voted against this particular LDP which I see as a very poor piece of work. I agree with Voice that the essential points are overdevelopment and the total confusion over transport policy and infrastructure. How the council can ask us to support a an LDP which Cllr Patel (who I believe is now the lead councillor on this matter) has effectively rubbished by his catagoric assurances that several of the transport solutions will never be adopted is beyond belief.
If things will never be adopted then edit them out. As it stands the supporting documents might just as well say that all residents will be provided with helicopters or roller skates as the transport solution.
As an aside, what impact does the Cardiff Embankment (Dumballs Road) development have on the LDP?
Dumballs Road is one of the candidate sites in the LDP - and a roughly similar density to what is now proposed is assumed in it. So it has no material effect on the housing requirements elsewhere in the city.
2,000 homes is just about enough to support some ancillary services - a primary school, say. Bur it isn't enough to support large scale public transport provision. For that, you need a more substantial development to get passenger numbers. So a smaller development may actually be worse for congestion than a larger development that is of sufficient scale to help fund and justify better transport.
4 trains per hour is probably pushing whats financially viable though - probably 2 an hour, which in addition to the city line services would increase frequency to 4 an hour on the existing city line. That would be a benefit to existing residents of the development.
The discussions of the bus rapid transport system are part of the consultation documents associated with the LDP. They do not form part of the LDP itself. It was right to investigate this option, but it also seems right to now dismiss them. The LDP is a process as well as a final plan - and part of that process is examining different options before deciding on the more appropriate ones to choose.
I do think councillor Patel's handling of the situation has been pretty poor. That letter to the Echo was almost a parody of official-speak. The problem is that no councillor seems willing to stand up and say "this is why the development is the best thing for Cardiff and South Wales".. instead they seem to cringe and grovel about having no choice as the last LDP was thrown out by the planning inspectors.
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