CAMPAIGNERS against Welsh Government plans to develop 576 homes at Upper Cosmeston Farm have said they are delighted with the reaction to a petition to get the plans reconsidered.

The petition, organised by campaign group Keep Cosmeston Green, has now received more than 5,000 signatures, which means it will be considered for debate in the Senedd.

The plans – currently in the consultation phase of the planning application – have drawn criticism from residents, councillors, and archaeological experts.

Criticism over the plans include alleged loss of historical heritage, countryside, and the potential increased congestion and pollution in the area.

The plans could mean the demolishing of the farmhouse and barn at Lower Cosmeston Farm, which are still in use by the current residents.

Penarth Times: Picture: Vale of Glamorgan CouncilPicture: Vale of Glamorgan Council

A spokesman for Keep Cosmeston Green said: “The Keep Cosmeston Green campaign is urging the public to continue to keep signing its petition to the Welsh Government requesting a debate in the chamber to discuss the proposed development at the Upper Cosmeston Farm site.

“A government that apparently is prepared to ignore its own climate change emergency virtue signalling by concreting over yet more of our fast diminishing green countryside.

“It would of course be interesting with an election looming to see who in the Welsh Assembly is prepared to support the opposition to the mass house proposals at Upper Cosmeston Farm.”

Sully councillor and long-term campaigner Kevin Mahoney said while much has importantly been made of the archaeological and natural impact of the plans, he believes equal attention should be focused on social impacts.

“The Vale is the largest commuter county in Wales and if you’re building huge estates everywhere, we will basically import a whole new population which will be going to and from Cardiff and elsewhere.

“Our roads are struggling to cope as it is. Doctors surgeries and dentists are struggling to cope, St Cyres School and Stanwell School are full up with places. The foundations are not there for this development to go ahead.”

Last week Alex Wilson, Liberal Democrat candidate for Cardiff South and Penarth, submitted a report to the Vale of Glamorgan Council calling for the plans to be reconsidered.

Penarth Times: The old farmhouse at Upper Cosmeston FarmThe old farmhouse at Upper Cosmeston Farm

The survey, filled out by 154 residents, revealed 98 per cent believe the new houses would cause a “disruptive increase in traffic”; 84 per cent said the plans don’t sufficiently mitigate an increase in pollution from extra traffic; and 85 per cent said the new 200-pupil school wouldn’t meet the increased need for places.

One respondent said: “Overcrowding, air pollution and an unsuitable plot make this area totally wrong for housing development — especially when worldwide we are endeavouring to be mindful of the damage the aforementioned poor practices produce.” 

Another said: “Environmentally, it’s a disaster. I run in this area and there is significant wildlife here. Also, every year there is always some flooding on Lavernock Road when a quick heavy downfall happens. If the green pastures can’t contain the rainfall, more concrete isn’t going to make it any better.”

Mr Wilson added: “We support new house building and recognise a need for social housing, but we wanted to make sure we were engaging with our community and finding a balance. This also has a direct impact on me because my house backs onto Lavernock Road.

“We fully support the petition to fight the development and I am encouraging people to sign it. Our major concerns are that this has not been properly thought through.”

While the public consultation on the plans has now ended, the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning committee will soon consider whether to grant permission, during a public meeting. A date for that meeting has not yet been set.

A Vale of Glamorgan council spokesman said: “The council is currently considering a planning application from Welsh Government relating to this matter. The plans can be viewed through the online planning register on the council’s website and comments are invited from any interested party.

“Planning officers are available to discuss the proposals with members of the public throughout the normal working week by email, telephone or virtual meeting if necessary.

“Views can be submitted by emailing and all will be considered as part of the normal planning process. We will also be using our social media channels to encourage people to share their thoughts on this issue.

“The site was allocated for development in the Local Development Plan, which itself goes through a rigorous examination in public process with community engagement. The LDP was adopted by the council in June 2017.”

The petition is open until November 27.