A public inquiry was launched yesterday into a controversial plan to build 150 houses on the outskirts of Cardiff.
The plans, which use fields off Church Road, in Pontprennau, were rejected by councillors on the city’s planning committee on the basis that the land was defined as “countryside” within the Local Development Plan and lacked sustainability due to its accessibility by any mode of transport other than cars.
The 6.61 hectare greenfield site between Pontprennau and Llanedeyrn Village is penned in by busy roads including the Pentwyn link road to the west and the A48 to the south as well as Church Road to the north.
Matthew Price, of the transport policy team at Cardiff Council’s planning department, gave evidence about his reasons for recommending that the planning permission be turned down.
“I think the development would be car dependent. There are limited transport options available,” he said.
“There is just one bus route in one direction in a sense, when 21% of trips are external to Cardiff. When you consider this along with the relationship with facilities, and the walking and cycling options, the car is going to be the only realistic option.”
Mr Price said that his studies into the accessibility of the proposed site showed that there was not an adequate quick and direct cycle path into the city centre from the site.
In terms of installing pedestrian access across the busy Pentwyn link road, near the entrance of the proposed site, Mr Price argued that although the crossing complied technically with the guidelines set out by the Highways Department, the crossing would be in a complex area and many risk exposures had to be taken into consideration.
The company Heron Land Developments and Mr and Mrs James, submitted the plans for the dwellings, and, added their representative, were prepared to make suitable alterations to enlarge cycle-lanes, and implement changes to improve security and safety for pedestrians including a new light-operated crossing and a CCTV camera.
The inquiry continues for a second day today.