Thursday, January 3, 2008

Save our Parks - North Road, Cathays,

Application No. / Rhif Cais: 07/02649/C

Date / Dyddiad: 03/01/2008

Please ask for/Gofynwwch am: Richard Cole

Telephone / Ffon: (029) 2087 1668

Fax / Facs : (029) 2087 1826


Dear Sir/Madam


Town and Country Planning Act 1990

Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995

______________________________________________________________________

Proposal: NEW ACCESS, BRIDGE EMBANKMENTS, UPGRADED ACCESS ROUTES AND LANDSCAPING

Location: Land west of, North Road, Cathays, Cardiff

Applicant: Cardiff County Council

_______________________________________________________________________

Further to my previous letter notifying you of the above application, I have to advise you that amended plans have now been received.

You can look at the application and plans at the City Hall Reception (Main Entrance, Room 139) from 8.30 a.m. to 4.45 p.m. Monday to Thursday and until 4.15 p.m. on Fridays. Please quote the application reference number located at the top of the letter to reception staff.

Please write to me within 12 days of the date of this letter if you have any comments that you wish the Council to take into account before a decision is made.

Please note that your letter will be open to public inspection. You should enclose a stamped addressed envelope if you wish to be informed of the decision.

Yours faithfully


Julian Stedman

DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

PLEASE REPLY TO: Development Control Stategic Planning & Environment, City Hall, Cardiff, CF10 3ND (e-mail : developmentcontrol@cardiff.gov.uk) (internet: www.cardiff.gov.uk/dc)


This application involves a 2 lane access road into the arboretum area from North Road to allow articulated lorries to enter the park to service events in Coopers Field (the Council’s aim is to maximally commercially exploit this area of the park) and the nursery (which is to be expanded). Needless to say this will radically affect the character of this area of the park (see Max letter below). The modified proposal I doubt will differ much in substance, since the site for the access road had already been cleared.
Both the Bridge and the roadways are quite out-of-scale and will significantly damage the Park this quite and sensitive part of Bute Park. Vehicles/traffic through it will be intrusive. The loop by the Nursery will ruin that corner and will become used for parking.

The arboretum has many special trees, including memorial trees and plaques; some may be damaged directly, but their setting moreso.

The uses as access to Coopers Field and to the Nursery study centre can be provided in alternative ways that avoid impact on this sensitive area of the historic park.

Alternatives

Access to Coopers Field is only occasional and hardly a problem. 'Do minimum' and access via the south side of the Music College (by the tennis courts) should be considered. The latter would be direct onto Coopers Field, with a new bridge, still intrusive but at a less sensitive and less frequented point.

Access to the Nursery study centre should have been considered under that planning application. We are told the Ambulance station route cannot be used, but access for occasional vehicles could be achieved with benefits for access to the playing fields (for events like Race-for-Life) round the north of the changing room building. School buses/minibuses would park outside (in public car park or take over the haphazard uncontrolled parking area to the north of the carpark entrance); construct a separate new footbridge for children to walk through.

Bridge - the Bridge design should be minimal, taking vehicles one-way with a waiting area in the woodland for the very infrequent occasions when vehicles meet.

Roadway - 4 metre roadway is over-wide. It will encourage two-way traffic, and vehicles will go over the edge onto the grassland in practice. This is especially true of wider vehicles (HGVs etc.). As rising bollards controlled from the Nursery are proposed at the North Rd entrance, similar bollards could be placed at the exit from Coopers Field and controlled to ensure vehicles do not meet.

The black tarmac used two years ago to surface the old park track is unnecessarily intrusive; the brown surface of the other roadways was and is preferable.

In summary, I argue for rejecting the whole scheme for its severe impacts on the Park. The present application says too little of impact on trees and nothing on alternatives or balancing impacts against 'benefits'. A scaled down project, with minimal bridge and roadway, excluding the whole loop to the Nursery, would have much less impact but should be compared with alternative options as above, and these put out for public consideration.



1 comment:

x said...

As the initial proposal has been rejected I believe a site visit is planned for th 10th March. I find the constant encrouchment onto the ParksBute Park complex and The Heath esp) by those who believe the parks are somehow under used throughly dissappointing. 'Improved' access will simply initiated a dreary set of developments for non-park activities (ie excessive outdoor concerts, parking for professional cricket events).