The original plans to build 45 dwelling has been revised by the developers following “various discussions” they have held with Council officers. Whilst the number of dwellings has been reduced to 36, and these are now mostly concentrated on the meadow, leaving a few more of the trees unmolested, the essence of the plans remains the same.
If the plans are approved, a road will be driven through the woodlands from De Braose Close to provide access to dense housing which will be built mainly on the meadows near Radyr Court Road. All vehicular access to this housing would be via De Braose Close and through Danescourt. The entire site is marked for protection as part of the Taff River Corridor in the Cardiff Local Development Plan. This application assumes that the Council is prepared to ignore the policy and treat this as an essential exception. What is today a quiet, open space with pleasant country walks would be destroyed with 2- and 3-storey dwellings and the woodland footpath would be replaced with a road that will receive all traffic to and from the anticipated 182 new residents. The footpath across the site that forms part of the Penrhys Pilgrimage Way would become a road, changing the nature of the route from rural to urban. Trees in the woods would be destroyed to make way for the road, and open land that currently provides food and habitat for birds and wildlife would be destroyed, breaking the natural corridor that runs from Radyr Woods to Danescourt Station and the River Taff. We know this land is used as a feeding and foraging ground by bats, owls and many other creatures.
Details of the amended planning application can be viewed online here. You can access the relevant documents from the Documents tab on that page, and also register an objection to the proposal by adding a comment. To do this you first have to register with the council’s portal and log in with your username. More details of how to register your objection, and when this must be done by, will be added to this site as soon as the relevant information has been shared by the council.
More than 1,000 local people signed a petition to object to the original plans. That objection still stands, but please express your continued objection to these revised plans in a new petition. Sign the new petition, even if you signed the original one. Your signature will underline your objection to any development on this land, and register the increased strength of feeling that has built as people have realised how valuable this land is during lockdown.
Cardiff Local Development Plan
Whilst the adopted Local Development Plan is itself a controversial document, it is the council’s formally adopted plan, and it states that the River Corridors “possess high recreational, biodiversity, historic, cultural and landscape value”. They will be “protected, promoted and enhanced, together with facilitating sustainable access and recreation”. The land on which the proposed housing estate will be built is clearly marked as part of the Taff River Corridor to be protected:
You can download the adopted LDP and associated maps here.
A significant part of the woodland that would be destroyed by the development is protected with Tree Preservation Orders. This map shows the protected area marked in green. The footpath through the green area is where the new road would be built, so you can see that nearly all the protected trees are under threat and the woodland path would be destroyed (and the fairies would be evicted!).
Previous Planning Decisions
This land has had planning applications rejected in 2005 and 2014. On both occasions the council’s planning department turned down the applications. Both decisions were appealed against by the developers, and each time the Inspector rejected the appeal.
In the first case, the Inspector concluded that:
“It is evident that the area of open space, within which the site lies, is valued by local residents because it is an easily accessible area that has retained, to a significant extent, a rural character, and which also contributes to the enjoyment of recreational users who appreciate its role as part of a larger area of open space….further development would erode the present balance between the natural environment and the built form.”
You can read his decision here.
The more recent appeal, in 2014, focused on the difficulty of vehicular access to and from the site along Radyr Court Road. You can read the Inspector’s decision here.