Watch: violence at protest against demolition of house
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
A protest opposing the demolition of a house resulted in violence after a demonstrator was repeatedly punched by a van driver.
Protesters living in Clos Nant Glaswg in Pontprennau, Cardiff blocked the St Mellons Road end of Ty Draw Road on Tuesday, August 23, between 7.12am and 7.45am.
The demonstrators, of which there were nine in total, said they were opposing the proposed demolition of 43 Clos Nant Glaswg which will open a pedestrian and cycle path on to the access only street from Ty Draw Road.
A video has emerged from the day of the protest showing a van driver punching one of the protesters several times.
One protester said: “It was never our intention to prevent people from carrying out their day’s work.”
He said the other access for Ty Draw Road at Pentwyn Road was left unblocked and this made for a five-minute diversion.
The protester added: “What we were assured by a South Wales Police officer was that provided we were demonstrating peacefully… the police would see no problem with what we were proposing. We were within our rights to hold a peaceful protest.
“We were all a bit shocked that it resulted in an aggressive response.”
South Wales Police said a report has been received regarding the alleged assault in Pontprennau.
Providing an update on the situation a force spokesman said: “The investigation is ongoing. No arrests have been made.”
The Clos Nant Glaswg path will be part of an already-approved development which will see 45 affordable homes built on land off Ty Draw Road.
A number of residents living in Clos Nant Glaswg are worried that opening the path on the street will increase crime in the area and make it more unsafe.
The developers behind the housing project, Edenstone Homes, argue the shared path has been proposed to promote cycling as a safe alternative mode of transport.
It is also hoped that the path will improve connectivity and access to services in the area.
Campaigners opposed to the development of the new shared path said they notified Edenstone Homes on August 2 of their intention to protest.
Edenstone Group operations director Chris Edge said: “The development of 45 affordable homes was approved following the standard democratic planning process, which included public consultation.
“While trying to engage with residents to seek clarification on the issues they raised they indicated they were considering a peaceful protest.
“We recognise that right but want to avoid unnecessary disruption to the wider community and other road users by protesters blocking the public highway.
“We understand there was an incident involving a passing motorist during the protest.
“We have not been able to establish any connection with the vehicle or the driver and our development.
“We would never condone any action against protesters and sincerely hope nobody was affected by the incident.”
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