A highways expert for developers who want to build 150 houses in Pontprennau has told an inquiry there would be “viable alternatives” to car travel for families who move into the homes.
Heron Land Developments is appealing a decision by Cardiff Council to reject plans for 150 houses on land off Church Road, Pontprennau, because the land was defined as “countryside” in the city’s Local Development Plan.
At a public inquiry into the proposals this week, Pontprennau ward councillor Dianne Rees said the development would be “unsustainable” because the people living there would have to be very car dependent.
Busy roads including the Pentwyn link road to the west, the A48 to the south and Church Road to the north border the 6.61-hectare site between Pontprennau and Llanedeyrn Village, and Coun Rees said country lanes and lack of pavements would cut the development off from near-by communities.
But giving evidence on the third day of the hearing yesterday highways consultant Richard White, who works for Heron Land Developments, said there were “viable alternatives” to travelling into Cardiff by car, including a park and ride service and Cardiff Bus routes.
Cardiff Council’s representative Melissa Murphy said although parking in the city centre could be expensive, spaces could be found for as little as £4 a day and some workers had office parking. But Mr Murphy said the cheaper cost of catching the bus and savings on fuel still made the bus a better option.
Asked about access to local facilities from the proposed development, including the nearby Asda supermarket which Ms Murphy said acted as a “high street” for the area, Mr White said a light-operated crossing on the busy Pentwyn link road was the safest way for pedestrians to get to it.
He responded to Ms Murphy’s safety concerns about a lack of surveillance for pedestrians by saying they would be highly visible to motorists and other pedestrians on the road.
Mr White also answered questions about access to local schools from the site, including Bryn Celyn Primary School. Ms Murphy said the shortest walking route to the school would be on the Pentwyn link road – a busy dual carriageway – and highlighted barriers to push chairs such as steps and a subway.
But Mr White said there were alternative, longer routes that did not have these problems, adding: “We are not talking about no car trips. Some people will want to walk with their children, but others may not.”
Heron Land Developments have also offered to enlarge cycle lanes in the area.
The inquiry is expected to finish today.