Gabalfa residents in row with Salvation Army over builders’ traffic

May 17, 2012 No Comments »
Gabalfa residents in row with Salvation Army over builders’ traffic

Homeowners fear construction traffic from a city housing development will blight their lives after a charity refused to give the builders access to the site through its land.

Construction of 15 new houses and 12 apartments on a site off North Road is set to begin later this year, with builders bringing heavy machinery through neighbouring suburban side streets.

But residents fear the contractors will be forced to weave through Gabalfa’s narrow roads to access the site after the Salvation Army refused to allow the builders entry through its property.

Concerned residents and councillors have launched a petition calling on the Salvation Army to allow access to the development from North Road.

They fear the machinery will cause parking problems for the built-up neighbourhood, as well as putting children and elderly people at risk.

Grandmother Marion Garrod, 71, who has lived on Heathfield Road for 46 years, said the plan was “absolutely ludicrous”.

Speaking about the Salvation Army, she said: “I don’t think they’re considering the residents in this area at all. We want safety in this area for these children. You have not only got small children, you’ve got elderly people as well.”

Residents filled a Pact (Partners and Communities Together) meeting last week at St Mark’s Church, North Road, to discuss the issue.

Builders are set to complete work on a replacement Salvation Army hostel on the site and begin work on the United Welsh Housing Association (UWHA) development.

Construction company ISG asked for residents’ co-operation over plans to move its equipment through Pen-y-Bryn Road, Pen-y-Bryn Place, Newfoundland Road and Heathfield Road.

But homeowners were angry at the plans, including suggestions they should move their cars to make way for the machinery.

Mrs Garrod, a grandmother of one, claimed the plans to move vehicles through their streets, lined with Victorian houses, were unworkable.

She said: “They actually suggested that some of the residents move their cars. This is permit parking, and it’s absolutely not a good idea.”

Gabalfa Councillor Gareth Holden, who lives on Pen-y-Bryn Road, said: “The co-operation they’re asking for, residents just simply can’t give.

“These residents aren’t going to find parking spaces in other areas of the road. It’s an unrealistic plan.”

He added: “They were asking to move 30 cars off the corners in an area where it’s choc-a-bloc full. Where are these cars going to go?”

Both the Salvation Army and UWHA said there was never any consent given for construction machinery to access the site through the Salvation Army’s property.

A Salvation Army spokesman said: “We are keen to resolve the situation and will endeavour to bring all parties together as soon as possible.

Northlands is an operational centre and our priority is the protection of vulnerable members of society attending the centre.”

A UWHA spokeswoman said: “United Welsh is working closely with the Salvation Army and ISG to come to a solution regarding site access as soon as possible.”

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