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Councillors vote to visit site of controversial cancer hospital development

18 Jun 2022 3 minutes Read
Ariel view New Velindre Cancer Centre. Image John Cooper Architects

Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter

Members of Cardiff Council’s planning committee voted in favour of a site visit to a controversial hospital development.

The planning committee voted for the visit to the location of the approved Velindre Cancer Centre off Park Road after concerns were raised about traffic safety in the area.

Calls for a site visit came up at a Cardiff Council planning committee meeting, when an already approved planning permission for temporary access to the site for construction vehicles was discussed.

In total, 18 letters of objection had been made in relation to the application. The Whitchurch and Tongwynlais PACT group raised their objections to the plans at the meeting on Wednesday.

Representing the group, Ian Vincent said: “Will you please properly assess, scrutinise and reject this application based upon the numerous objections already registered and the following overarching principles.

“Firstly, the existing entrance to the Whitchurch Hospital is currently very congested and very dangerous. There are numerous access and entrances that form a ring of danger around the proposed construction site entrance.

“This application puts forward a tinkering approach to an already existing dangerous location and the reasons for this are to dramatically increase the traffic using this area, with the introduction of hundreds of construction vehicles and movements.”

Environmental campaigners

Planning permission for the new Velindre Cancer Centre was given in 2018. Environmental campaigners have raised concerns in the past about the cancer centre being built on the Northern Meadows.

Mr Vincent added: “It is also worth noting by the committee that there is a misconception by many that those that are objecting to the ongoing planning application are just protestors.

“However, they are nurses, doctors, scientists, youth workers, retail workers, academics and teachers etc., all of whom care about the community and environment they live in.”

In response to this, Director of planning consultants The Urbanists, Mark Farrar, said: “The approved access route was approved by planning committee in February 2021 for access to the site of the new Velindre Cancer Centre.

“Members will be aware that the cancer centre was granted planning permission in March 2018 as a critical part of the future health care provision in South East Wales to provide the necessary facilities and skills to be able to treat the increasing need for cancer treatment.

“The construction route planning permission included plans showing permanent improvement works at the Whitchurch Hospital Park Road junction to improve the layout, increase pedestrian space, improve the existing zebra crossing, improve drainage and install tactile paving.

“It does not raise any new issues that have not already been examined.”

Concerns

Cllr Jackie Jones, who called for a site visit, said: “I think there are a couple of concerns that residents have put to myself and other ward councillors, which I would consider as material. Having looked at the plan and having been in the area for a while, there are an awful lot of cars there.”

“They go up and down that very narrow road and the speed limit is 20 miles per hour. It is going to take a while for people to get used to the 20 miles per hour limit.

“This is a particularly difficult area because you have a school, you have elderly residents and you have a lot of children there.”


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