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A view to spoil proud couple's comfortable life.

A"mover and shaker" who stalks the corridors of power in the Vale of Glamorgan tells me of a friendship which is close to breaking point.

It may seem an exaggeration and perhaps a little presumptuous to talk of corridors of power and movers and shakers in the Vale, but they do exist and the decisions they take have a major impact.

In the coming weeks and months my mover and shaker will be involved in decisions that will shape the future of the Vale and its people for years to come.

It will not be easy and my mover and shaker is already concerned about the possible impact on relationships and friendships.

I don't wish to identify my mover and shaker and so will refer to him/her as "Z".

Z is friends with a couple in their sixties who are looking forward to peace and comfort in their twilight years.

This couple opted not to have children, preferring to seek joy and comfort from other things, not least creating a fine house they are proud to call home.

The couple are calm and relatively stress free, not least because they have not had children running about the place and posing no end of worries with exams, careers and the general bother of getting ahead in an evil world.

"Not a thing is out of place in their home," said Z, with a hint of envy. "It is really lovely."

The house is close to the Vale's Garden by the Sea and enjoys impressive semi-rural views.

All that could be about to change, thanks to decisions which have already been taken by Z and his/her fellow movers and shakers, and decisions which will have to be taken very soon.

The relentless drive for more and more houses in the Vale will mean that the couple's house will be surrounded by other properties, spoiling their views and ruining their dreams of a contented retirement.

Those who maintain that in the current social and economic climate this is just tough luck for the couple - who will just have to take it on the chin - are surely wrong, if not cruel.

House proud they may be, but there is surely nothing wrong with that.

I once visited a resident of a ground-floor flat on a socially deprived housing estate. But as I stepped into the flat I was transported into another world, a world of creativity and love. It was clear that the resident had put a good deal of effort into making her home truly special. Her only disappointment was that she did not have a view.

Z's friends have an equally special home, and also a view. But that view is to be snatched away for them in the name of progress and affordable housing.

For reasons that have yet to be satisfactorily explained, the Welsh Government has dictated that some 10,000 new houses have to be built in the Vale over the next 15 years. Such a programme is likely to ruin the inherent beauty of the Vale. Even building an entire new community in Llandow, as suggested by Friends of the Earth, is likely to cause problems in the countryside and on the roads.

My mover and shaker is one of those who has scrapped the flawed Local Development Plan for the Vale and is undertaking a root-and-branch review.

It would be admirable, although unlikely, if they were to refuse to build the houses. At least that would save a friendship.


The landscape in the Vale of Glamorgan is changing due to plans to build more houses
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 29, 2013
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