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Cardiff Council proposes land swap to pave the way for a controversial school development

25 May 2022 4 minute read
Cathays High School. Photo via Google

Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter

A Cardiff council is proposing to use a piece of popular parkland as part of a land exchange that would pave the way for a controversial school development.

The council has approached the Maindy Park charity, of which it is a trustee, about releasing land at Maindy Park in exchange for land that is not held in trust.

Land at Blackweir Fields and Caedelyn Park in Rhiwbina have been identified as sites that could be part of the land swap. The move would pave the way for the land at Maindy Park to be used as part of the Cathays High School expansion.

The area of land identified at Blackweir measures 31,400 square meters, whilst the land at Caedelyn Park is 29,470 square meters. Both areas of land that have been offered as part of the exchange are owned by the council.

Residents in Cathays, who were already opposed to the high school expansion and concerned over the loss of Maindy Velodrome at Maindy Park, have kicked out again after the council advertised the proposed land exchange at the bottom of a page in a local newspaper.


“[It was] a bit of a shock to find out that the council were advertising the [land exchange] with a one by two inch notice in a [local] paper,” said Cathays resident, Ant Warland, 32.

The link relating to the land exchange was made available on the council’s website five days after the newspaper notice was published in the Western Mail on May 20.

The notice in the Western Mail stated: “The County Council of the City and County of Cardiff as trustee of Maindy Park… gives notice for the purposes of Section 121 of The Charities Act 2011 that the Charity pruposes to dispose of land at Maindy Park Cardiff by way of land exchange. Further details of the proposal are available on the Council’s website at or via the contact details below.”

Ant, who is also a member of the Save Maindy Velodrome group added: “It was a surprise that they [are proposing] to exchange it with a patch of land in Bute Park and another patch in [Rhiwbina]. The proposal doesn’t really make a lot of sense. They are proposing to exchange Maindy Park for an area of land that is already public open access.

“They are not actually giving anything [to] the beneficiaries of Maindy Park. We can already access those things, so it doesn’t amount to the same as what we had before.”

The council approved plans to expand Cathays High School in October 2021. The expansion will see a replacement school built and the Maindy Velodrome cycle track moved. The development will allow for a modern school that can offer space for more students and sports pitches – something the school does not have now.

On the proposed land exchange, a Cardiff Council spokesperson said: “The council has begun a public consultation to gather views on the suitability of proposals to swap land with the Maindy Trust as part of plans to accommodate a new Cathays High School to serve the local community. This is a public consultation which will be advertised and promoted to gather the public’s views.

The area of Blackweir Fields proposed for the land swap. Photo Cardiff Council

“Two sites near to Maindy, which might be suitable to the Trust in any land swap, have been identified at Blackweir and Caedelyn Park. Both sites fulfil the required criteria in that they are green space of a similar scale and relatively close to the existing land and do not have existing trust designation.

“If either land at Caedelyn Park, or the land proposed at Blackweir were swapped with the Trust, then it’s worth noting that this would in effect provide that land with an even higher level of protection from development than it currently has. A public notice has been published in the Western Mail and information on the proposal is available on the council’s website through the following link –

“If, following consultation, a decision is taken to proceed, then it is expected that an order will need to be obtained from the Charity Commission before any land swap between the Council and the Maindy Trust can go ahead.

“There was an initial issue with the web links which has now been resolved. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.” The consultation period ends on June 20.

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2 years ago

So these proposals were published after the council elections. Surely this is an issue that should have been debated at the County Council elections.

2 years ago
Reply to  Geraint

it was, but cathays is the most studentified ward in the whole of the uk. they got out literally dozens of activists, blakeford, jo stevens, to cajole, beg, threaten, and otherwise panic the transient population into voting labour and leaving the permanent residents without their well-loved facilities.

2 years ago
Reply to  cathayslien

not totally correct – people knew about the proposed expansion onto the maindy site but the council / councillors kept the land swap info until after the elction

2 years ago

That location on the map at Blackweir should not be touched. Removing existing green areas is not the answer.

2 years ago

swapping land for land that we already own, a sleight of hand trick to fool the simple and give the illusion of democratic process. then giving the new area that same protection that maindy currently has, which is none, becuase they’re proposing to build on it. if they want to build on the new bit they’ll just do the same sleight of hand trick.
whats a council promise worth?

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