OPINION: Keep Cosmeston Green!

  Posted: 20.11.20 at 11:53 by Keep Cosmeston Green

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Everyone who cares about their town has opinions about the direction that town should be going in. Penarth Nub News serves as a platform upon which you can voice those opinions.

Today, Keep Cosmestion Green makes the infrastructural argument against the Welsh Government's controversial proposals.

The Keep Cosmeston Green Campaign group have been leading the opposition to what the group maintain is the massive over-development proposals of the fast diminishing green wedge between Penarth and Sully have been heartened by the response from the public to their electronic petition to Welsh government.

The petition has already passed the 5,000 signature mark, which now ensures the petitions committee must consider progressing the matter for discussion in the fully Cardiff Bay chamber.

It is important to stress that the petition ending date is not until 27 November and it is urged that those opposing the loss of our green land carry on signing until the end date in order to display the depth of feeling against this ill-considered proposed development.

Whilst stressing the importance of the petition and any other responsible actions opposing the development, the KCG campaign would like to express a number of the social reasons why it is so strongly concerned about these proposals put forward by Welsh Government on its own land.

Its many concerns in regards to the loss of green land, flora and fauna, archaeology and land contamination etc are already highlighted on its website, Facebook page and other media outlets.

These topics will also be covered in more depth in future, more specific articles.

Here we concentrate on the subject of social provision and general infrastructure.

The campaign of course fully recognises that everyone needs somewhere to live and of course everybody’s house was newly built on freshly acquired land at some stage in time.

Without doubt, an expanding population needs new homes for those young adults leaving home to live or young or older families seeking possibly their first house, and room for the natural expansion of a local population needs to be found.

In regards to addressing such needs for an expanding local population, it seems difficult to understand how so many houses being built at unprecedented rates in recent times in this general area can be just for the natural expansion of the local population.

This is particularly inexplicable when it was argued at the time of its adoption that the Vale of Glamorgan population expansion figures used in their Local Development PLAN (LDP) was overestimated by almost double the figure of what that natural expansion would actually be.

There are already major concerns and frustrations raised by young adults and families living in the Sully area that even with a decent sized deposit saved up the price of the new houses (optimistically described as affordable housing) are beyond the scope of those locals wishing to leave their family homes and buy a house in their home village.

Would the pricing structure in Cosmeston less than a mile away be much different?

It must seem fairly obvious that continually building over the last vestiges of green virgin ground in the same area over and over again can only lead to overdevelopment, crowding and the total overwhelming of local services and vital infrastructure such as schools, doctor and dental surgeries, road and highway networks and local authority social services as well as local hospital provision.

Many people may not realise that, disappointingly high though they are, local council tax per house only raises enough for under 30% of the costs to service the needs of that dwelling by the Local Authority pro rata. The rest is funded by central government.

The Vale of Glamorgan already suffers from receiving over £200 a head per year less than nearby Cardiff from its funding from Welsh Government and there has been no real indication of that gap being bridged anytime soon.

With every service department of the Vale of Glamorgan creaking under the pressure of reduced budgets, service provision can only be strained even further with ongoing budget cuts expected to continue for some time.

So how on earth can the Vale of Glamorgan County council even contemplate providing for a massive increase in population and housing when it declares that services are already in a possibly unsustainable position if cuts from central government are to continue?

There surely can be nobody reading this article who is not already aware that all of the essential services that support local populations are already totally overwhelmed within the Penarth, Cosmeston, Llandough Sully, Dinas Powys and Barry areas.

Despite this there are no announced plans whatsoever to address the need for the massive upgrading of all these essential requirements for a successful large population growth in this area never mind the failing servicing of the needs of the existing population.

To not do so and not to put such enhanced infrastructure in place before any more housing developments are considered is a gross disservice to both the existing population as well as the hard working decent people who would occupy such the estates.

This world of grand virtue signalling by those in authority who constantly proclaim their dedication to ‘sustainability’ and ‘green ideals’ clouds the reality which is that the Vale of Glamorgan is officially the number one commuter job based county in Wales even before the thousands and thousands of new houses currently being built in Barry, Rhoose, Dinas Powys, Sully and Penarth.

With no real new mass job provision in the Penarth, Cosmeston, Sully and the Barry area ,this surely means creating large new housing estates being occupied by workers who naturally will have to join the commute into Cardiff and elsewhere by already beleaguered and inadequate road and public transport infrastructure whilst developers and politicians ludicrously chunter on about such new populations all working or cycling to work.

Such aspirational nonsense is now put forward by developers and planning departments in reference to every new major housing development that is proposed, despite rather hypocritically the carparks of their own offices being jammed to the rafters with their own cars.

These almost compulsory "everybody will be cycling or walking to work" edicts are also echoed by those politicians in Cardiff Bay who swan about in the government owned chauffeur driven fleet of gas guzzling ministerial cars themselves whilst lecturing the rest of us about saving the planet and walking or cycling work.

Housing development history in this area is one long chain of broken promises in regards to local shops, surgeries, community halls, chemists etc etc all announced to great fanfare by potential developers and planning departments which rarely seem to appear after the houses are built.

Well, how about for once announcing exactly what new social, health, educational and transport provision is to be put in place and actually forced to be built or provided before any more new housing is allowed?

Words have been proved over and over again to mean nothing as development after development is allowed.

Existing services are proved over and over again to be inadequate to support such new population growth whilst already groaning under the needs of the existing population.

You can’t just keep building in the same area over and over again without providing adequate infrastructure to service both existing and new populations!

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