• John H @JohnH6 Mod Westcliff-On-Sea - 4mo

    Cycle route - post to assist member with link problem

    Outraged neighbours have lost the last round of a battle to stop the demolition of a 'perfectly good' £300,000 house in their suburban cul-de-sac, to make way for a cycle path.

    The four-bedroom private home, which is less than 20 years old, will be flattened to create a cycle route to a new 'affordable' housing development.

    The destruction order for the £300,000-plus house forms part of a proposal for 45 new social housing homes - comprising 22 flats and 23 houses - next to the existing private properties on the leafy outskirts of Cardiff.

    Neighbours denied 'Nimbyism' but complained about creating a social housing 'ghetto'.

    But families lost a planning battle against the cycle path and footpath through their neighbourhood after it was given the green light by Cardiff Council on Tuesday.

    Some homeowners expressed fears their property would be ‘devalued’ while others suggested the path would provide an easy escape route for burglars.

    Other residents said their children would be put at risk from increased traffic coming from the new development.

    Initial plans for the development included the closure of Ty-Draw Road to through traffic but residents felt the road closure should take place elsewhere.

    In an objection letter residents claimed Cardiff Council had refused to release the consultation of the Highway Authority's response to a statutory consultation, so they were unable to see if the alternative road closures they suggested had even been raised.

    An amended application was then launched by the developers omitting proposed bollards to close the road and instead demolishing the house to create the cycle route through Clos Nant Glaswg and across Ty Draw Road.

    The house was bought more than a year ago by Edenstone Land, partners of the site developers United Welsh, who is renting it out before the demolition.

    Mrs Maria Gaylard of the same area claimed, in the planning application comments, she never received either of the two letters sent by the council regarding the planning proposals. In fact, Miss Leanne Donovan believed only five per cent of residents received any letters.

    A petition to 'Save Number 43' had been signed by nearly 300 people , calling on the council to reject the pathway plans in the Pontprennau suburb.

    The £300,000 home, pictured above, in Cardiff was built less than 20 years ago but its demolition was approved by the council on Tuesday

    The proposed cycle route, as seen in red, will replace the house, leading to the affordable housing. It will provide a 'strategic active travel link' for residents and provide a safe alternative to cars

    Residents Rob Lee (left) and couple Vaughan and Alison Williams (right) believe they are at risk of higher crime rates because the alleyway will be a 'rat run'

    Neighbour Joanna Fashan presented the petition to Cardiff council's planning committee - in a desperate battle to save their privacy.

    She said: 'Residents deliberately purchased properties on this street as it was a closed cul-de-sac, knowing we could raise our families safely, have quiet retirements, feel safe living alone, and all the other positives that living on such a street has.

    'This alleyway creates a rat run. We are therefore at risk of higher crime rates, for example from opportunist car thieves. This puts the safety and security of the whole community at risk.'

    Emma Fortune, a planning agent representing the developers, said: 'This footpath and cycleway will provide an important strategic active travel link for residents.

    'The link provides a safe and convenient alternative, so residents can walk or cycle, rather than use their cars.'

    The new pedestrian and cycle link, where the house currently stands, will allow for easier pedestrian and cycle access to the existing facilities and services located in Pontprennau and the surrounding area via the existing estate roads.

    The link of the cycle route to these roads will be accompanied by a raised table and crossing warning signage to provide associated traffic calming measures across Ty Draw Road, as stated in revised planning applications.

    Neighbours also raised issues of the link to the new development which will be 'plonked' in isolated fields

    Residents Rob Lee (right) and couple Vaughan and Alison (left) launched the petition 'Save Number 43' - it received almost 300 signatures but failed to prevent council approval of the plans

    But one councillor hit back by saying people such as 'lawyers and engineers' live in social housing.

    Cllr Ali Ahmed said: 'We're not creating any ghetto. Most people who live in social housing, some of them are solicitors, barristers, engineers, you name it. Yes we are destroying one house, but we are trying to provide 45 much-needed homes for Cardiff residents.'

    Six councillors on the planning committee voted in favour of granting permission for the scheme - with two voting against and two abstaining.

    Vaughan and Alison Williams are both retired and have lived at their home for over 20 years but will now consider moving.

    They said: 'We've got no problem with social housing and when we purchased our property it was in a quiet cul-de-sac.

    'The demolition won't make us feel secure and it'll change the dynamic of the street. You don't expect a perfectly good house to be demolished.

    'The cycle path leads to nowhere, there's no shops at the bottom of the road.

    'If the decision wasn't reversed eventually we would move because our dynamics would change completely.

    'As a community here, we don't object to social housing, only the cycle lane.'

    The neighbours deny being 'not in my backyard' nimbys trying to block the people living in the affordable homes.

    Pictured above is resident Vaughan who said the cycle path would change the 'dynamics' of the cul-de-sac completely

    Despite upset from residents Developers United Welsh say the development will provide high-quality affordable homes

    Action group chairman Rob Lee said: 'Even if you build 5-bedroom luxury houses we would oppose the plan, if it involved the demolition of one of our homes and destroying our way of life'

    Residents also raised issues of the isolated nature of the development which is 'plonked 'among fields with no amenities or connectivity.'

    Mr Lee said: 'This lets people in affordable housing down.'

    Developers United Welsh say it is important for the new builds to 'integrate well' with the community.

    A spokesman said: 'This development will provide much needed high-quality homes for affordable rent and first-time buyers.

    'It is important for the proposed new homes to integrate well with the community and for pedestrians and cyclists to have adequate access to local facilities and amenities

    'Local residents are being consulted as part of the planning process.'

    This discussion is now closed.

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