DESPITE the meeting abruptly ending because councillors couldn’t log in from home, what did we learn from one of the Vale’s most important planning meetings in recent times?

February 22’s Vale planning committee meet was set up to be something pretty spectacular, with both the huge housing development at Cosmeston on the table, as well as sparking up Barry’s biomass burner.

However, due to only three planning committee members turning up in person, and the rest logging in from home, technical difficulties meant the meeting could not be completed and no decisions could be made.

Despite this, we did learn some things.

Passions high for Upper Cosmeston Farm housing development outside Penarth

Cllr Kevin Mahoney was particularly passionate about the subject, describing the fact that he was only allowed to speak for three minutes as "ridiculous", and being ordered to stop speaking by planning committee chair Neil Thomas as he ran over time.

What did Cllr Mahoney, representative of the ward where the 576 houses are proposed to be built, say?

Despite Vale planning officers recommending plans should be approved, Cllr Mahoney was concerned about local services being stretched by the influx of homeowners that could be coming to the area and even questioned the accuracy of the reports.

“There’re no doctors and no secondary school spaces,” said Cllr Mahoney. “These services are gone.

“The active travel plan purposes everyone will walk and cycle to work, but the infrastructure will grind to a halt.

“And how can you trust any of these reports? There is nothing independent about a developer paying someone to put in a report for them.”

Penarth Times: The development plans for Upper Cosmeston FarmThe development plans for Upper Cosmeston Farm (Image: Asbri Planning)

Penarth Times: Upper Cosmeston Farm could look very different to this if developers get their hands on itUpper Cosmeston Farm could look very different to this if developers get their hands on it (Image: Supplied)

Upper Cosmeston Housing development to become refuge of nature in the ‘garden of Wales’ Vale of Glamorgan

Representative of designers of the development, Cardiff based Asbri Planning’s Barrie Davies explained what the development comprised of.

He said in the meeting: “There is 25 hectares earmarked for development, but in fact less than 16 hectares will be built on with nine hectares for new and renewed habitats including wetlands, orchards, open spaces and 6,000 square metres of new hedgerows.”

Mr Davies also emphasised the 50 per cent target for building affordable houses on the development highlighting the Penarth, Sully and Lavernock area has the highest need for affordable houses in the Vale.

Mr Davies also said £7.8 million was earmarked towards a new school on the site, there will be sustainable public transport, coastline monitoring and public art.

On that other spectacular topic, Barry’s biomass burner? That wasn’t discussed because councillors couldn’t get their laptops to work…