Fears of traffic chaos if 2,500 home development in Cardiff gets the green light
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
A Cardiff councillor fears her ward could be brought to a standstill if plans for thousands of homes to the north of the city are approved this week.
Cardiff Council’s planning committee will meet on Thursday to discuss an outline planning application for the construction of 2,500 homes on land south of the M4 between Lisvane, Pontprennau and Cyncoed.
If approved, the proposed development will also include a primary school, land for a secondary school, employment land and a district centre which will have shops and spaces for leisure and community use.
However, residents and local councillors have raised concerns about the plans, with one Cardiff Council ward member for Lisvane and Thornhill, Cllr Emma Reid-Jones, fearing chaos in her ward if construction goes ahead.
She said: “Lisvane’s road infrastructure is already at breaking point – I get daily reports of construction HGVs being stuck in St Mellons Road causing tailbacks and delays despite being clearly signposted as “unsuitable for HGVs”.
“The plans state a potential 73 construction vehicles will be using St Mellons Road and other residential streets across Lisvane & Pontprennau to access building sites during the duration of the development which will I’ve no doubt lead to gridlock.
“The increased HGV users from other sites has already damaged our roads leading residents raising serious safety concerns particularly for pedestrians and cyclists.”
The proposed development surrounds the Churchlands site being developed by Redrow homes, which has planning permission for 1,000 homes, a primary school and a village centre.
A Taylor Wimpey spokesperson said: “Our plans for a new development at North East Cardiff have been carefully considered following engagement with the local community, Cardiff City Council and key stakeholders.
“If our planning application is approved, the scheme will make a significant contribution to Cardiff City’s housing offer by delivering sustainable homes that meet the needs of residents now and in the future.
“The proposals for the development include plans that will encourage sustainable travel choices, and feature an easily accessible district centre which will comprise a GP surgery, supermarket, pub and fitness centre.”
Councillors also wonder whether the development of 2,500 homes in the north of Cardiff might be unnecessary after it was revealed in March 2021 that population growth figures in Cardiff had been overestimated.
The population of Cardiff had initially been expected to grow by about 38,400 people between 2018 -2026. After the Welsh Government revised the forecasted population for 2026, the expected increase was shown to have dipped to about 8,600.
The council said the 2021 census data will play a role in informing the new LDP. A consultation on a preferred strategy for the LDP won’t take place until the summer.
Cardiff Council is currently in the process of preparing a new Local Development Plan (LDP), which will inform where new developments take place and how land across Cardiff is used.
Replacement Local Development Plan
A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: “The census will play a part in a considered evaluation of projected population growth figures to 2036 for Cardiff’s Replacement LDP.
“There is currently a shortage of housing in Cardiff, so even before population increases are considered, there is a need for additional homes, and more affordable homes, for people to live in.
“In determining what’s required, the council will take into account the latest evidence on household growth and need, including the first set of census findings issued in June.
“It will also take into account the need for affordable homes and the amount of new homes with planning consent that can contribute to the supply of new homes in the Replacement LDP.
“The next stage in the preparation of the Replacement LDP will be a consultation on a ‘Preferred Strategy’ over the summer. This will identify a proposed level of growth for Cardiff up to 2036, where the public can have their say.
“The planning policy context set out in Welsh Government guidance and Future Wales 2040: The National Plan, which identifies the city within a National Growth Area in terms of homes and jobs will also be a consideration.
“This will ensure the plan is founded on a robust evidence base, which will be tested during the examination of the Replacement LDP by the Independent Planning Inspector.
“Until the Replacement LDP is adopted by the Council, all planning applications have to be considered against the Current, adopted LDP.
“There is a comprehensive officer report on the application in question, which considers the issues raised by the Local Members, alongside a wide range of transport measures to be delivered off-site through Section 106 planning obligations.”
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