Cardiff Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP) has been questioned by the Welsh Assembly Government’s planning inspectors.
At a public meeting in City Hall on Thursday 25th February 2010 with over 130 people in attendance the planning inspectors, Anthony Thickett and Rebecca Phillips, outlined their concerns with the current plan including housing provision, transport links and land designated for employment.
Inspector Thickett gave Cardiff Council three options for moving forward:
1. The council can say the Inspector is wrong, continue with the Local Development Plan as it is and take it to a full hearing in May.
2. The council can produce further evidence to support the current Local Development Plan and show that brownfield sites have enough capacity to meet demand. But how will that provide affordable housing and the right housing mix for Cardiff?
3. The council can accept that some new housing sites will be on greenfield sites. The council would then need to draw up a strategy for whether these are on the West or East of the city and come back with a new Local Development Plan and include provisions for employment and transport.
Rodney Berman, leader of Cardiff Council, said: “I don’t think we’ve got that much further with the inspectors, they are still reiterating that they have major concerns with the plan.
“It would be helpful if the inspectors would go a little bit further and giving us more of a hint about what we should be doing.
“We will need to consider the options presented to us and it’s a decision for the Council to make on March 25th in a vote of full council about how we proceed.”
The Inspectors refused to withdraw the plan and Cardiff Council have not asked for the Inspectors to ask the Assembly to withdrawn the plan. The LDP will now go before a full council meeting on Thursday 25th March 2010 for a decision.
The Inspector’s concerns with the plan are:
In our view strategy requires too heavily on brownfield and windfall sites. There is no guarantee these windfall sites will appear.
Too many sites are mixed employment and housing, not convinced that the balance is right
There is a big need for family housing but the LDP fails to address that need, there is no policy in place for family housing.
We are concerned about the plans concentrating housing in four parts of the city.
There are too many flats in the city and a lot of the new developments have too much emphasis on flats, and not enough on mixed housing.
There is a need for 2,173 affordable dwellings to be built per year, according to Assembly guidelines. The current LDP allows for 4,950 affordable dwellings over the course of the entire plan – an average of 306 dwellings per year. This falls short of the expectations of the One Wales agreement.
Only four the current 20 sites are viable for affordable housing provision.
Gypsies & Travellers
194 authorised pitches need to be provided by 2018 according to demand. The current LDP has no provision for Gypsie pitches.
Four locations identified, Wentloog, Pengham, Leckwith and Green Technology Park. Three of the four have ‘deliverability issues’ and the Environment Agency has concerns over the flood risk on all the sites exclusing Pengham.
Significant reservations that the supply of employment land will not keep up with the projected growth of the city in coming years.
The LDP does not name the existing employment sites that it is wishing to protect.
Cardiff lacks a diversity in employment land and a lack of hi-spec office space and smaller officers for new start-ups.
International Business Park does not consider evidence case provides a justified case for it being near Junction 33 of M4. Not enough evidence that public transport ratio of 70 per cent car, 30 per cent public transport would be met. Concerns over International Business Park sucking businesses away from existing employment centres.
Requirement is to direct new development away from flood risk areas, however LDP sees majority of employment land in Flood Zone C (the highest risk area) and a number of housing developments also in Zone C areas.
Concerned that council did not commission flood-risk strategy until months after the LDP was submitted.
Concerns over whether LDP makes adequate provision for waste disposal, 20.9 hectares of waste space will be needed. Lamby Way is reaching capacity and LDP does not specify where Cardiff’s waste will go to.
Absence of a planned approach. Seems to be little link between housing, employment and transport provision. The LDP does not prove what can be provided and there is a failure to specify core transport routes.
What’s your view? Do you think the Local Development Plan adequately reflects the needs of Cardiff? Would you support the building on greenfield sites? Are you part of a campaign group to save a greenfield site?