Opinion: Greenhill school plans rile Rhiwbina

January 21, 2011 No Comments »
Opinion: Greenhill school plans rile Rhiwbina

greenhill special school

The Local Development Plan (LDP) has now received submissions from developers and agents for alternative sites which should be included in the new LDP. In Rhiwbina there are three sites which have been nominated for inclusion.

The first alternative site is the land to the rear of Brynteg, adjacent to the historic Twmpath. Currently vacant, the site comprises 0.8 hectares and the landowner submits that the site has capacity for 10 residential units. This is a site which was proposed for development many years ago. There were many objections then and it will be interesting to see what the response is now from residents who live nearby or who have an interest in the site.

The second site, Greenhill Special School is approximately 3.5 hectares and has 3 proposals submitted for inclusion in the LDP. The first proposal is for 78 residential units plus a 60 bed assisted living accommodation element. The second nomination is for 110 residential units, whilst the third proposal, also by the same developer is for a scheme of 80 residential units and a replacement school of 3385 sq metres (including pitches etc).

In the previous plan, which was withdrawn last year, there were very strong objections to the use of the Greenhill Special School site for residential units. The local community was so concerned that it ultimately became the site with the most number of objections in Cardiff. The schools department in County Hall recently confirmed that there were currently no plans to sell off Greenhill, however proposals for the site to be included for development could mean a change in this policy.

The final site in Rhiwbina is the land at Briwnant and the largest of the three. The developer has proposed that 157 hectares of grazing land (which jointly falls into Lisvane) be included in the LDP with a potential residential capacity of 1200 units. Community facilities also mentioned include a new primary school, local shopping and community facilities, park and ride facility, a 10 hectare business park and a country park.

The third site at Briwnant would be north of the M4 and if included in the plan, could be one of a number of sites which would lead to a loss of green space in the swathe of land which surrounds the urban areas of the city.

It is a quirk of the planning system that developers can nominate sites which they do not own. Greenhill Special School is one example of this and during the process for the withdrawn plan, this caused much confusion between residents, councillors and different departments in County Hall. Now that this has been experienced, all stakeholders understand the process more thoroughly and hopefully making representations to support or object to a site should be easier.

In Rhiwbina my two ward colleagues and I are consulting with residents living near to the proposed sites. We want to hear the views of any resident, regardless of where they live, in relation to whether these sites should be included in the plan or not.

We have an important public meeting on February 8th at 7.30pm in All Saints Church, Heol-y-Felin, Rhiwbina. Although the focus will be on the Rhiwbina sites, this meeting is open to anyone who wants to comment on any alternative site which has been proposed in the city and we will be happy to pass on any comments to the planning officers.

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