BARRY&Vale Friends of the Earth met in the Castle Hotel last week and were joined by concerned residents from HOPE in the Vale and shocked residents from the Laburnum Close area of Gibbonsdown.

We will be supporting HOPE in the Vale, as they take on the would-be housing developers at the Bryn Hill Golf Club, just as we will be supporting other groups who are concerned over the crazy green field house building proposals, from Cog Moors in Sully, to Ystradowen and Bonvilston in the rural Vale.

The time for a 'New Town' on Llandow's Brown field areas, has never been clearer. If a 'new town' were to be developed, sustainably planned to the highest environmental standards, not just left up to the greedy green field developers, then many of the developments now proposed, would not be necessary.

The Gibbonsdown/Merthyr Dyfan residents invited the FoE Group to see the work the Vale Council have undertaken on the Long Meadow, the only field left in their area. Virtually all of the trees and bushes in the meadow have been razed to the ground in preparation for a 'Lagoon' which is supposed to avoid the Monsoon type flooding which occurred in 2007. This is at least a recognition that we can expect more extreme weather events and flooding, as the Climate Change Panel told us, last week.

Barry&Vale FoE are concerned that flooding will continue in this area when the White Farm development is completed and the stream is culverted. The FoE group are working with residents to look at possible planning irregularities and to demand that trees are returned to the Long Meadow. Trees, after all, absorb water and prevent flooding. We will also be working with the concerned residents, to see that the meadow is restored to its previous natural and biodiverse condition.

Keith Stockdale

Barry&Vale Friends of the Earth Co-ordinator