Housing fight moves to next level

APPEAL: Protesters at Green Farm at the very beginning of their long-running campaign

APPEAL: Protesters at Green Farm at the very beginning of their long-running campaign

First published in News

A GROUP of campaigners intent on stopping a housing developer building on green land is calling for a public inquiry.

The Friends of Weycock Cross met with Vale MP Alun Cairns to discuss their next plan of action to stop Taylor Wimpey building up to 200 dwellings on Green Farm, the area of land between Pontypridd Road and the Cwm Ciddy public house.

Taylor Wimpey had already appealed to the Welsh Government before the Conservative members of the Vale planning committee abstained and other members voted against accepting the proposals, earlier this month (January 16).

The Welsh Government inspector will now consider the matter and the process could take several forms.

The Friends of Weycock Cross are calling for a planning inquiry which takes the form of a hearing with the Planning Inspector sitting as a judge.

Mr Cairns and the local campaigners believe this will give the best opportunity for local residents to voice their concerns.

Frank and Debra Cleland, of the Friends of Weycock Cross, said: “The fight is not over and we must continue as there is always the risk that the appeal will succeed. We did everything to convince the local authority that this application should be rejected and need to keep up the pressure. A similar situation has happened with applications in Wenvoe. We need to stay alert for any new applications that could come forward. If the Authority were able to challenge the housing target of 10,000 minimum as recently outlined in the draft LDP, that would strengthen our hand considerably.

“The Welsh Government’s response to the draft LDP is also concerning in that it calls for more development in Barry. We need to guard against this being used at appeal or any future planning application.

“We are keen to work with the whole community and with all political parties in our effort to protect this green space.”

Vale MP Alun Cairns said the battle had been won against the odds up to now and it was important to maintain the momentum.

He said: “I hope that the Welsh Government do not overrule the objections. We will call a meeting together shortly to advise the community to ask residents to make their views known.

“I am concerned that Taylor Wimpey will use the precedent set in Wenvoe, where the appeal was lodged and a new application tabled locally.”

Managing director for Taylor Wimpey South Wales, Shaun White said: “We lodged our appeal to the Planning Inspectorate on the grounds of non-determination, as the Vale of Glamorgan Council did not decide the outcome of the Weycock Cross application within the required period.

“Should the appeal be upheld, our proposed development will deliver up to 200 much-needed high-quality new homes, as well as a number of contributions for the benefit of the local community towards infrastructure improvements.”

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