Greenwashing the planning application

The developers have submitted some further revisions to their planning application. This is their final “greenwash” version. The plans are presented as the creation of an improved woodland, with replanted oak saplings and an enhanced environment. They have conveniently removed reference to the protected trees that will be destroyed, to the Ancient Woodland that will be threatened, and to the fact that invasive alien plant species have spread due to their own, deliberate, neglect. The remedy, apparently, is to build roads and houses on the land! The proposal to transplant saplings comes about because the development will destroy the habitat, land designated by the council for environmental protection, where they are currently growing quite happily.

The applicants have entered the realm of “fake news”. Removal of public open space is presented as its creation. Destuction of wildlife habitat as its restoration. Pollution of a natural environment as its enhancement!

Amended plans present us with a further opportunity to renew our objection. You can send yours to developmentcontrol [at] cardiff [dot] gov [dot] uk. Remember to quote the application reference (20/00198/MJR) and confirm your name and address.

Petition News

Many thanks to all who signed our online petition. With the Planning Committee now expected to decide on the planning application on 7th December, we have closed the petition and submitted it for consideration by the members of the Planning Committee. It contains 2,301 signatures, almost all of which come from Cardiff residents. A substantial proportion of the adult population of Danescourt have signed the petition, showing how much we, in the local community, value this space.

Given that strength of feeling, Cllr Sean Driscoll has also, on behalf of the local community, submitted the petition for consideration by a full meeting of Cardiff Council. The Council’s Cabinet Support Office has confirmed receipt and indicated that “the matter will be investigated and a full response will be sent to you in due course”.

“This site is not a suitable candidate site for any form of development”

So say Mark Drakeford and Kevin Brennan in their letter to Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Strategic Planning. They are objecting to the inclusion of this site as a candidate site for residential development in the Replacement Local Development Plan. They also highlight that there is no longer a need for further development sites, concluding that:

“Now is not the time to be adding in further candidate sites, and certainly not the one which is the subject of this letter”

Click here to read their letter in full.

A new threat to the woods

Cardiff Council is preparing a new Local Development Plan (LDP) to replace the existing LDP.  This is the guide used by the Council to inform planning decisions.  The current one highlights the social and environmental importance of Cardiff’s River Corridors and vows to “protect, promote and enhance” them.  A map defines the boundaries, and all the land that is subject to the current application to build 36 flats and houses between Danescourt and the River Taff is designated as River Corridor in the current plan.  This is our strongest defence against development on this land.

It is vital for us that the map is not re-drawn to exclude Danescourt Woods from the River Corridor in the new LDP.  The developers who have a current application to build on this land have taken advantage of the Council’s consultation regarding the replacement plan and proposed the woods and meadow as a candidate site to be designated for residential development, removing it from the protected River Corridor.  If this proposal is accepted, housing development across the whole area will be inevitable.

The Council is inviting comments on this proposal to be submitted before 5th October 2023

Click on the picture above to go directly to the page where you can submit your comments on this proposal.

Last push before Planning Committee decision

We’re expecting the planning application to be on the Committee’s agenda for their meeting on 5th October. There’s still time to sign the petition if you haven’t already done so. And you can send a further objection to developmentcontrol [at] cardiff [dot] gov [dot] uk right up to the eve of the committee meeting, making it clear that your objection still stands following recent amendments by the developers. Make sure you quote the planning reference number 20/00187/MJR and include your name and address.

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If you live in or around Danescourt or Radyr Court Road, you should have received our latest newsletter through your letterbox. You can view the newsletter online by clicking here. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Welsh Water to restore Danescourt Woods

I’m delighted to note that Welsh Water have backed down from their plans to make their stone track, that runs from De Braose Close down towards the river, permanent.

We were all horrified when the woodland, that ran directly into Radyr Woods ,was cut in half by the sudden appearance of a stone track. Even more so when Welsh Water announced that they would need it to be a permanent scar in the woods. And to add to the insult, it seemed to be necessary because of inadequate planning to deal with waste water from Plas Dwr.

So it is great news to hear that once the development of an underground connection below the woods across to a new pumping station on the other side of the river is complete, Welsh Water “have decided to remove the track and will fully reinstate the area to its original state once our work has been completed”. The engineering and tunnelling work has to happen first, so reinstatement won’t begin until November 2024 (click here to read the details).

It is great that Welsh Water recognise the value of this land to the local community and to the environment more generally. Perhaps the Council’s Planning Committee will realise what a folly it would be to allow a developer to build an even bigger road and houses through the same woods. I know Cllr. Sean Driscoll has worked hard behind the scenes to achieve this. Others too that I am not aware of, I’m sure. Many thanks to them all. Let’s make sure the Planning Committee know about this!

There is a Welsh Water public information event on 4th September from 4pm to 7pm at Danescourt Primary School. If you’d like to meet with the Welsh Water team, email community [at] dwrcymru [dot] com with your name and preferred time.

WalesOnline article

WalesOnline have published this article about the planning application. Click on the picture to go straight to the article:

Only part of Sean’s statement was quoted in the article. Click here to read his full statement to WalesOnline.

Original Danescourt Master Plan

Many thanks to Esme for finding a copy of the original Danescourt Master Plan, dating from 1975. Here it is, and you can see clearly that it was always intended that the land, now subject to plans to build roads and houses, would be retained as a public open space.

Any decision by Cardiff Council to approve planning permission would clearly be a betrayal of that original plan, which wisely made provision for open space for the benefit of local residents. Although this plan might not carry any legal force, it certainly adds weight to our campaign to preserve this space as intended by the original designers.

Council site visits can resume

The planning application remains “under consideration” awaiting a report and recommendation from the Council’s planning officers. Throughout the pandemic, the Planning Committee has not been permitted to organise any site visit, and our local councillors had strongly argued that the Committee should not take a decision without first visiting the site.

The Council’s health and safety experts are now permitting site visits to resume “provided they are outside, social distancing is maintained, people travel there independently if possible, if not only driver and one other person in a car with windows open and wearing masks”.

If a visit is planned, we will notify the local community, via this site, our Facebook community, and the email mailing list. We are aware that Council planning officers had requested further changes to the planning application, and it may be that this, in turn, will trigger a further round of public consultation, depending on the extent of the changes.