A meeting hosted by Cardiff Civic Society to discuss the “procedural juggernaut” that is Cardiff Council’s local development plan (LDP) called on better consultation with communities.
The juggernaut remark was made by chairperson of the Society, Peter Cox, as he invited those present to brainstorm ideas for how the Council could consult with residents about the plan.
David Eggleton, secretary of the Society, said: “The LDP is a 15 year masterplan for the development opf an area. The previous plan was 252 pages. The problem with the previous plan was that the policies did not deliver the ideals that people wanted. This document should give a guide for the Cardiff that we all want to live in.”
Cox also accused local councillors of failing to grasp what the development plan was about.
He said: “It’s crucial that councillors gras that this plan is the single most important document for our lives as citizens in Cardiff. We are yet to hear a proper political debate about this document and how the politicians see Cardiff developing.
“Without this plan, we’re rudderless. It’s a problem for planning committee as applications can’t be rejected because we have no plan.”
Ideas on how to consult with the public better included having a scale model of Cardiff in a shop in the city centre, roadshows travelling the city to inform people of the plan, making the Council website easier to access and making the timing of the consultation periods better.
The Council is currently consulting on the delivery agreement of the plan, which is the document that states how long it will take to deliver a new local development plan and the stages in it. The delivery agreement sets a deadline of four years, but as Cox points out all the consultation periods are during summer and Christmas holidays – making it difficult for people to respond.
The Civic Society have also setup a wiki, an editable web page, that allows people to keep up to date with the plan as it develops, comment on documents and get involved in scrutinising the plan.