Neighbours LOSE battle over demolition of a 'perfectly good' house

Neighbours in Welsh town LOSE battle against developers over demolition of a £300,000 ‘perfectly good’ house to make way for a CYCLE PATH leading to social housing ‘ghetto’

  • Four-bedroom private home will be flattened in Pontprennau suburb of Cardiff
  • The destruction order is part of plans for an ‘affordable’ housing development
  • Nearly 300 people had signed a petition to Cardiff Council to reject the plans 
  • But six councillors have voted in favour of granting permission for the scheme 

Neighbours in a Welsh town have lost a battle against developers over the demolition of a ‘perfectly good’ house to make way for a cycle path leading to what they describe as a social housing ‘ghetto’.

The four-bedroom private home, which is less than 20 years old, will be flattened in a leafy cul-de-sac in the Pontprennau suburb of Cardiff.

The destruction order for the house worth over £300,000 is part of plans for 45 new homes in an ‘affordable’ housing development next to existing private properties.

Nearly 300 people had signed a petition to ‘Save Number 43’, calling on Cardiff Council to reject the cycle path and footpath plans.

But families now appear to have lost the planning battle after six councillors on the planning committee voted in favour of granting permission for the scheme – with two voting against and two abstaining.

Neighbours raised concerns over the path creating a ‘rat run’, saying the community’s safety is being ‘put at risk’.

However, site developers United Welsh argued the path will provide a ‘safe and convenient alternative’, allowing locals to walk or cycle instead of using their cars.

The destruction order for the house is part of plans for 45 new homes in an ‘affordable’ housing development next to existing private properties. Pictured: the field which will be developed and the estate below where a house is set to be demolished to make way for a cycle path

The four-bedroom private home (pictured above), which is less than 20 years old, will be flattened in a leafy cul-de-sac in the Pontprennau suburb of Cardiff

Residents Vaughan and Alison Williams (above) are both retired and have lived at their home for over 20 years but will now consider moving

Neighbour Joanna Fashan presented the petition to Cardiff council’s planning committee in a battle to save their privacy.

She said: ‘Residents deliberately purchased properties on this street as it was a closed cul-de-sac, knowing we could raise our families safely, have quiet retirements, feel safe living alone, and all the other positives that living on such a street has.

‘This alleyway creates a rat run. We are therefore at risk of higher crime rates, for example from opportunist car thieves. This puts the safety and security of the whole community at risk.’ 

Emma Fortune, a planning agent representing the developers, said: ‘This footpath and cycleway will provide an important strategic active travel link for residents.

‘The link provides a safe and convenient alternative, so residents can walk or cycle, rather than use their cars.’

Vaughan and Alison Williams are both retired and have lived at their home for over 20 years but will now consider moving.

They said: ‘We’ve got no problem with social housing and when we purchased our property it was in a quiet cul-de-sac.

‘The demolition won’t make us feel secure and it’ll change the dynamic of the street. You don’t expect a perfectly good house to be demolished.

‘The cycle path leads to nowhere, there’s no shops at the bottom of the road. If the decision wasn’t reversed eventually we would move because our dynamics would change completely.

‘As a community here, we don’t object to social housing, only the cycle lane.’ 

Action group chairman Rob Lee, who claimed the development ‘lets people in affordable housing down’, pictured with Mr and Mrs Williams

Mr Lee (above) added: ‘Even if you build 5-bedroom luxury houses we would oppose the plan, if it involved the demolition of one of our homes and destroying our way of life’

Plans showing the house that will need to be demolished to make way for the cycle path. Neighbours raised concerns over the path creating a ‘rat run’

Action group chairman Rob Lee said: ‘Even if you build 5-bedroom luxury houses we would oppose the plan, if it involved the demolition of one of our homes and destroying our way of life.’

Residents also raised issues of the isolated nature of the development which is ‘plonked among fields with no amenities or connectivity.’

Mr Lee said: ‘This lets people in affordable housing down.’

Some neighbours complained about creating a social housing ‘ghetto’.

But one councillor hit back by saying the social housing will provide ’45 much-needed homes’ for Cardiff locals. 

Cllr Ali Ahmed said: ‘We’re not creating any ghetto. Most people who live in social housing, some of them are solicitors, barristers, engineers, you name it. 

‘Yes we are destroying one house, but we are trying to provide 45 much-needed homes for Cardiff residents.’   

One councillor, Ali Ahmed, hit back by saying the social housing will provide ’45 much-needed homes’ for Cardiff locals (pictured: the home that is set to be demolished, centre)

Site developers United Welsh argued the path will provide a ‘safe and convenient alternative’, allowing locals to walk or cycle instead of using their cars

A spokesman for Cardiff Council pointed out the application ‘technically doesn’t have planning permission yet’.

He said there is a Welsh Government holding direction and the application is subject of a 106 legal agreement before the decision notice can be published.  

Developers United Welsh say it is important for the new builds to ‘integrate well’ with the community.

A spokesman said: ‘This development will provide much needed high-quality homes for affordable rent and first-time buyers.

‘It is important for the proposed new homes to integrate well with the community and for pedestrians and cyclists to have adequate access to local facilities and amenities.

‘Local residents are being consulted as part of the planning process.’

MailOnline has reached out to Cardiff Council and developers United Welsh for further comment.

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