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Greenfield sites need protection; After Cardiff council revealed developers were bidding to build more than 40,000 homes across the city, we asked your councillors for their views. DIANNE REES says green areas should be saved.

Byline: DIANNE REES

OF the 112 candidate sites submitted, 24 are in the ward of Pontprennau and Old St Mellons. s

I represent this ward. Of those 24 sites, 19 are greenfield sites and 16 of these are used for agriculture. Once built on, that essential resource is gone for ever.

Some of the sites are green fields north of the M4, an area which was considered to be so important to the setting of Cardiff that it was intended to be green belt under the previous local development plan.

That plan was withdrawn when Welsh Assembly Governmentappointed inspectors expressed reservations about the council's policy not to allocate greenfield land for development. This time, the Assembly Government must trust the council to prepare its own development plan.

Developers are not so keen on brownfield sites because it is cheaper and easier to build on greenfield sites, but the council must expect more of developers.

Since the withdrawal of the previous plan, developers have viewed the critical comments of inspectors and unhelpful comments of some politicians as a chink in the armour for them to submit more and more speculative greenfield sites.

What do we want Cardiff to look like in 20 years? What sort of city do citizens want and need? Do we have a responsibility to neighbouring authorities? These are just a few of the questions we need to answer before we discuss sites. I know that I want to see continued regeneration of Cardiff and the setting of the city protected from development, preserving precious green spaces which makes Cardiff such an attractive city for visitors. That cannot be achieved if greenfield development is permitted on a large scale.

In our ward, infrastructure is inadequate for our current needs: We don't have a rail link; Although more 3,500 homes have been developed in Pontprennau, we still do not have a school within its boundaries; We do not have a library; Eastern Avenue has been running over capacity for years; Although the Western Bay Link road was completed years ago, the Eastern Bay Link seems to have been mothballed.

We simply do not have the infrastructure to support further large scale development.

We are totally opposed to developing greenfield sites and will be campaigning strongly against any proposals to build on green fields in the north of the city.

Dianne Rees is Conservative councillor for Pontprennau and Old St Mellons.

Tomorrow: Rhiwbina Independent councillor Jayne Cowan.

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 20, 2011
Words:436
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