Developers promise improvements after ‘Cardiff’s garden city’ is dubbed ‘an irresponsible mess’
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
The developers of a large residential area dubbed ‘Cardiff’s garden city for the 21st century’ have responded to concerns that it is lacking in amenities.
One resident who did not want to be named claimed that Plasdwr, a residential development in north west Cardiff which will eventually consist of 7,000 homes, does not have a big enough supermarket to serve its population.
The ‘garden city’ is partly designed to make walking and cycling the easiest way of getting around. On the Plasdwr website, the development is said to have been “carefully masterplanned” as a sustainable community, where residents can lead their lives “from their doorstep”.
The Plasdwr resident said: “Considering hundreds of new houses have been built, thousands of new residents have arrived and there are plans for thousands of houses to be built in a small village on the outskirts of Cardiff – we have one tiny co-op shop within walking distance. One small bar and a small restaurant.
“For a development that is marketed as being a garden village and to encourage other modes of transport other than cars it is simply unrealistic. If a resident wants to visit a medium to large supermarket there is no other option other than to drive.”
The resident also claimed that access to some of the footpaths on site have been “severely” restricted – referring specifically to the footpaths that cross Llantrisant Road, one of which he said has been blocked off by wire fences.
He added: “On another Public Footpath, a short distance away, another wire fence has been erected in its path, a style added but with zero access for dogs. All older styles have access for dogs or swing gates.
“Why is access being restricted on these paths? Must people take wire cutters or leave their dogs at home to enjoy the outdoors around Plasdwr? For a society that should be encouraging people to exercise more and use the car less, Plasdwr is an irresponsible mess.”
On a supposed lack of amenities at Plasdwr, Cardiff Council ward member for Radyr and Morganstown, Helen Lloyd Jones said: “We have asked if we could use the Bellway Sales Office when it is no longer needed as a Sales Office as a place albeit very small, where the community can meet for mother and babies groups, or knitting groups, or English language (and Welsh language!) circles.
“There is a real need for community space on Plasdwr. Prior to Covid, we had an extremely good Community Engagement Officer funded by Redrow. Sadly during Covid the post was not viable.
“We are delighted that this last month, Redrow has re-established links between the company and the community. We, the two Councillors from Radyr and Morganstown met with the Redrow representative this Monday.
“It was a very productive meeting and we are hopeful that we will now start seeing the problems residents have been encountering improved.” The other ward member for Radyr and Morganstown is Cllr Calum Davies.
Lack of amenities
Plasdwr responded to concerns regarding a supposed lack of amenities by saying that as part of the development of the ‘garden city’, a new commercial centre called Canol Plasdwr and three smaller local centres will be created.
A spokesperson for Plasdŵr said: “Each of these centres will include provision for amenities including shops, cafes, restaurants and offices. There are also plans for a food shop and new healthcare centre within Canol Plasdŵr.
“Our contractors are currently putting in place the infrastructure needed to make these centres possible. This includes the installation of essential utility services across Llantrisant Road, as well as the creation of the new roads which will eventually lead into the development and its amenities.
“Work of this nature is extensive and takes time to implement. We understand the concern and frustration of residents living within Plasdŵr and its neighbouring communities, our contractors are working hard to complete it as quickly as we can.
“Wherever possible, our aim is always to maintain Public Rights of Way. Sometimes, for health and safety reasons, it is necessary to put in place a temporary closure or diversion. We work on a case-by-case basis to determine the best course of action, and any closures or diversions are agreed ahead of time with Cardiff Council.”
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