Sully under siege
10:01am Thursday 10th October 2013 in Letters
I HAD an e-mail from a friend last Thursday (October 3) who had read a piece on the BBC website about the recently published draft deposit Local Development Plan, (LDP).
What has the Vale of Glamorgan got against Sully? he said, Why is Sully being singled out for all this development? Not a Sully resident himself, he was astonished that one community should bear such a disproportionate burden for the questionably predicted future growth requirements within the Vale of Glamorgan.
The recently published draft deposit LDP includes Land West of Swanbridge Road, Sully as a reserve candidate site for up to 500 houses. Do not be fooled by the term reserve candidate site. In reality this is meaningless. This site could be brought forward at any time for development. On top of this a further 235 houses and a school are proposed at Lavernock and to cap it all the Vale plan to legalise and extend the existing travellers camp at Hayes Road removing public the open space and potentially compromising access to the slipway in the process. At Hayes Road, but outside the scope of the LDP, is an outline planning application for 170 houses right next to the proposed permanent traveller site. This is against a backdrop of further infill and rounding developments in and around Penarth and Dinas Powys. Sully is shouldering the burden of nearly 10 per cent of the proposed housing stock during the term of the LDP.
While they were busy preparing the LDP, the Vale forgot to fight against cuts in the bus operators grant. It looks like we will have more houses and fewer buses now. How about roads? The road improvements listed in the LDP are trivial in relation to the increased usage that will be inevitable if so much development takes place. The Vale would appear to have made assumptions that payments from developers in the form of community infrastructure levy or even Welsh government funding can be used for the required capacity increases. History proves otherwise. Developments go ahead, road improvements do not and given the local geography it is hard to see how congestion at some of the well known bottlenecks can be alleviated without substantial alterations and compulsory purchase of existing properties. Maybe the Vale are taking the Cardiff City Council view, expecting residents to endure hugely increased journey times in spite of the loss of productivity and stress this will cause.
Examining the LDP, it seems two thirds of the sites proposed for development are on land designated as green field. Limited amounts of countryside are earmarked as green wedges and the process of urban coalescence has begun. Given that it is likely that developers will pursue additional planning applications outside the LDP, termed windfall sites by the council, it would seem the South Eastern Vale is destined to become one large Cardiff suburb.
Sully has become a politically convenient dumping ground for unpopular planning decisions. The people of Sully feel they are the victims of an undemocratic process. The Saving Sully action group maintain it is inappropriate for the Land West of Swanbridge Road to be included in the LDP as a site of any sort. As a part of the LDP lifecycle, the Vale will open a six week LDP consultation phase starting in November giving the community the opportunity to respond. If, like most residents of Sully, you don't want this land developed or have other objections as well, then have your say and take part in the LDP consultation when it starts. We will provide guidance on how you can do this when the time comes. We also support the Sully and Lavernock Community Council and Sully Travellers Action group in their campaign for the Vale to find more suitable accommodation for the travellers.
Find out more and support us by visiting Saving Sully website on www.savingsully.org.uk or e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org