OPPONENTS of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Deposit Local Development Plan (LDP), which includes a possible 450-house development on land opposite Cosmeston, held a protest outide the Civic Offices in Barry.
Around 50 people gathered outside the council offices last Wednesday (March 28) to show their mounting concern about the blueprint, which will shape the future of the Vale of Glamorgan for the next 15 years.
The plan, which calculates that nearly 10,000 new houses will have to be built in the Vale by 2026, has earmarked land at Lavernock as a ‘candidate site’ for future housing, with another site, for 650 more homes, in Sully.
The campaigners, carrying signs reading ‘Say no to more houses in Lavernock’, warned that the developments would be a ‘threat to the beauty spot’ at Cosmeston, and put ‘unbearable strain’ on local infrastrcuture.
Sue Thomas, one of the protest organisers, said: “David Cameron has backed down in England and left the green fields alone. The same should happen here.
“The council see the area as more land to turn into a concrete jungle. We need to fight this and preserve our beautiful countryside and wildlife.
“We only knew of this proposed development after reading a small flyer on a lamppost near us. No letters were written to residents.
“And there are only two roads out of Penarth. The thought of another 450 families adding to what is already traffic chaos each morning and evening is ridiculous.
“In my opinion a traffic survey on Lavernock Road would make that blatantly clear.”
Residents are also concerned about the potential impact of future large scale developments on local schools and medical resources.
Sue Phillips, who led the campaign against the closure of Gardenhurst Day Centre for the elderly in Penarth, was also at the protest.
She said: “There are no life services to accomodate the developments proposed in the LDP.
"The current school system, road layout, hospital provision and elderley care is not sufficient to cope with substantially more people living in the area.”
Upper Cosmeston Farm resident Tony Widdrington handed in representations on behalf of the residents to the Vale Council on Thursday (March 29) He said: “We are asking the Council to remove the Lavernock site from the LDP.
“We do not consider that the consultation with local residents has been anything like adequate.
“If, despite the fact that there are 6,000 vacant dwellings in the Vale, there is a need for more houses specifically in Penarth (a need for which we have been unable to find any evidence), we do not believe that the Lavernock site is an appropriate location for the major residential development proposed.
"We believe it would (a) cause unacceptable congestion along an already heavily congested route; and (b) place serious strains on the existing infrastructure, including, in particular, schools and other services.”
The consultation phase of the development blueprint, which also covers transport, the environment, employment and other developments, ended on Monday (April 2).
A spokesperson for the Vale Council said there would be a second consultation on ‘alternative sites’ for the LDP in due course.
"The council will consider all representations made as a result of the recent consultation period,” said the spokesman.
"In terms of the next stage, the council will be publishing details of all alternative sites that have been put forward by those making representations, and these alternative sites will be the subject of a further six-week consultation period in due course.
"Following this the council will need to consider whether there should be any changes made to the Local Development Plan as a result of the consultation undertaken."