Posted: Fri 18th Aug 2023

Campaign launched to protect green space in Cardiff from proposed housing development, citing irreversible tragedy and loss of habitats. /

A resident campaigning against plans to build new homes on green space in Cardiff said it would be an irreversible tragedy if the development went ahead.
An application to build 45 homes on land at De Braose Close, Danescourt, was first lodged in 2020 but is yet to be brought before Cardiff Council’s planning committee for a decision.
The plans have since been amended to propose 36 homes instead, but residents are still opposed to the scheme due to the potential loss of habitats and green space.
A campaign called Save Our Woods set up a petition in opposition to the plans which has so far accumulated more than 2,100 signatures.
One resident, Simon Field, who is behind the Save Our Woods site, said: “It would be an irreversible tragedy if this planning application were to be approved.
“The land is marked for protection from development in the local development plan (LDP), part of Cardiff’s river corridors that play an important strategic role as wildlife and recreation corridors  linking the urban area with the countryside.
“The council has rightly declared climate and nature emergencies, and here is a clear opportunity for it to live up to its words.”
An LDP is used by local authorities to identify areas of land for housing and development. It also identifies areas of land for protection.
One policy of Cardiff’s LDP on river corridors states that “the natural heritage, character and other key features of Cardiff’s river corridors will be protected, promoted and enhanced, together with facilitating sustainable access and recreation”.
A digital map of Cardiff’s LDP proposals shows the application site to be in one of the city’s river corridors.
However, a council document on river corridors does also state that the policy is not intended to prevent any development in a designated area.
Chief among the concerns of residents opposed to the plans is the loss of green space and the route enjoyed by walkers which would be cut through by a new access road to the housing development, if it goes ahead.
Other concerns include an increase in traffic along De Braose Close and the potential impact of the development on the Penrhys Pilgrimage Way which would also become part of the access road to the site.
Cardiff Council ward member for Llandaff, Councillor Sean Driscoll, also has concerns about the potential impact of the proposed development on biodiversity as he said Danescourt Woodland sits alongside the Hermit Wood Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC).
He said: “Residents completely understand we need more affordable and social houses.
“However, not half a mile up the road from this precious woodland.”
Two previous applications for housing on the same site, one for five homes in 2004 and one for 48 homes in 2012, were both rejected.
Cllr Driscoll added: “Danescourt woodland and meadow, with its adopted public rights of way, is so important to the local community.
“People of Danescourt and the wider community of Radyr regularly use this woodland to exercise and walk, which has enormous benefit for their health and wellbeing… which was especially true during Covid lockdowns.
“Danescourt woodland is an important piece of green infrastructure that needs to be protected and enhanced.
“Cardiff Council in its 2019 Biodiversity and Resilience Forward Plan, committed to protect areas of biodiversity like this, which they say are so important to the city.”
All of the 36 homes which have been put forward by Taff Housing Association Ltd will be affordable if approved.
In October 2022, Cardiff Council said there were more than 8,200 people on its housing waiting list.
A design and access statement attached to the planning application for the 36 homes, published in July 2023, states that the waiting list for affordable housing in Llandaff is more than 2,700 people.
The design and access statement also claims that the grassland fields that are part of the site are “considered to be of poor ecological value” and “appropriate development with the River Corridor is permitted and the LDP and supporting SPG is clear that such an allocation is dot a barrier to development”.
Cardiff Council does not comment on active planning applications.
The local authority was asked when the application will go before the planning committee, but no date was given.
Taff Housing Association Ltd was approached for a comment. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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