Alex Seabrook

Alex Seabrook is a Local Democracy Reporter covering Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, based at Wales Online.

Councillors have dismissed concerns of parents in Penarth that a nursery would relocate after merging with a local primary school.

Bute Cottage Nursery could soon merge with Evenlode Primary School, and Cogan Nursery could merge with Cogan Primary School, if plans currently under consultation are approved.

More than 900 people have petitioned against the merger of Bute Cottage Nursery with Evenlode, in large part due to fears the nursery would be relocated from its current site and rebuilt next to the primary school.

But councillors at the Vale of Glamorgan council last week insisted there were no plans to relocate the nursery, and said rumours about it relocating were due to ''misinformation'' and people not reading documents in full.

The plans under consultation involve merging just the governance and management of the nurseries and schools, and each nursery would stay in its current location.

The merger plans were discussed on Thursday (14th October), by the learning and culture scrutiny committee.

Councillors were mainly supportive of the plans, as a merger would both save money and make it smoother for pupils to transition from nursery to primary school.

Councillor Neil Thomas, a former governor at Evenlode, said: ''One problem was the transition from Bute Cottage to Evenlode, because Bute Cottage was using different reading and numeracy schemes from Evenlode. It was a source of irritation for the reception teachers that they had to basically reteach the children to fit into the new schemes.''

''This change should improve that situation, because you’re not going to get that conflict of schemes.''

''There’s a lot of misinformation going around, and there’s a lot on social media saying that the Bute Cottage site is going to be closed and developed, and the open area next to it is going to become a building site. None of which is referred to in this report and all of which has been denied.''

''They’re alleging that there are plans to move Bute Cottage physically and rebuild it on the grounds of Evenlode—again that is something expressly ruled out. But that’s something being put out on social media, and I’m wondering if that’s for political reasons to stir up anxiety and worry among the community. There are no such plans in place.''

As part of the public consultation, a cabinet report was published describing the merger plans in detail.

According to Cllr Gordon Kemp, chair of the scrutiny committee, some of the concerns could be caused by people not reading that 17-page report in full.

He said: ''I think part of the problem with the original cabinet report was the reference that they would remain in the same buildings was tucked away in the report. It wasn’t there right at the beginning, and perhaps some people don’t read as far as they should, unfortunately.''

However, the cabinet report, towards the end, discussed how the council would indeed consider relocating the nursery.

It said: ''Should the proposals be approved, the council would prioritise relocating nursery provision at Evenlode Primary School onto a single site.''

The report added the council would first assess the feasibility of the relocation, and would then also consult the public before any changes.

Cllr Lis Burnett, cabinet member for education and regeneration, denied there were any plans to relocate the nursery. But she added the council would ''probably'' explore if it were possible.

She said: ''There are no plans to change the sites of either the nursery schools. There is a small section in the consultation document that says that there would be feasibility work undertaken to see whether or not there should be a move over to the Evenlode site.''

''It’s one of those things where you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.''

''If we hadn’t put anything in and somebody had said ‘what are you going to do about moving to one site’, we would say we’ll probably do some feasibility work on it to see whether or not it’s an option. But if we put it in, then it’s a done deal. It’s not a done deal.''

''I really don’t know how you could build a separate nursery on the Evenlode site, but that’s my personal view. But if that feasibility work proved that it were possible, then you would have to go right the way back to another consultation. This is purely about amalgamating management and governance functions within the schools.''

The consultation runs until Friday November 5 and details of the plans can be found on the council’s website.

If approved, the mergers would take effect from Friday 2nd September 2022. The two nurseries are currently some of the last remaining standalone nurseries across the Vale.

Councillors have called for more young people to get involved in local politics in the Vale of Glamorgan.

A major shake-up is planned of how people aged 11 to 25 can make their voices heard.

The changes come after council bosses said it was ''challenging'' to get anyone to stand for groups representing the views of local young people.

Vale of Glamorgan council signed off the changes to the Vale youth cabinet and plans for creating a new youth forum, during a cabinet meeting on Monday (11th October).

Councillor Kathryn McCaffer, cabinet member for leisure, arts and culture, said: ''I’m really focused on [getting] young people to be involved in the democratic process.''

''We absolutely have a responsibility as a local authority to encourage and facilitate as many people to be involved in this process as we can.''

Concerns over the current structure were revealed in a recent survey conducted by the council.

Young people involved in local youth groups gave their views on strengths and weaknesses of the current setup, with some complaining their work felt ''pointless'' or a ''tick-box exercise''.

The results were published in a recent cabinet report.

One said: ''Sometimes participation feels a bit pointless. Have we really done anything or changed anything? For example, the Kymin mural is now on a building on the other side of Penarth, and nothing has really happened with the anti-social behaviour element of the project.''

Another said: ''Sometimes it just feels like a tick-box exercise for adults to say ‘yeah we got young people involved’. This can be really discouraging.''

Vale of Glamorgan Council

One problem is anybody who wants to be elected to the youth cabinet must also be a member of the Vale Youth Forum, but this forum doesn’t have enough members.

The council is planning to create another forum, called the Vale Big Voice Forum, whose members could be elected to the youth cabinet. This new forum is hoped to drive up participation.

The Vale Youth Forum and Vale Big Voice Forum appear to be very similar and fulfil the same roles.

Council bosses said they would consider how to provide a structure for the new Big Voice Forum to make sure it ''looks and feels different'' to the current Vale Youth Forum. But both groups are for young people across the Vale to share their views on local issues.

Changes to Welsh election laws have added to the pressure to drive up youth participation in politics.

The local elections in May next year will be the first time people aged 16 and 17 years old can vote for who to represent them on councils, such as Vale of Glamorgan council.

Cllr Ben Gray, cabinet member for social care and health, said: ''We’re heading into another election where more young people are going to be able to participate in the democratic process next May.''

''I hope what comes out of the end of these conversations is something everyone can get behind and understand that young people want to be involved.''

''We also want to make sure that involvement is constructive and that young people feel there’s a value to them being involved.''

''We don’t want to just create another layer of administration to deal with this. This is about opening up as much as we can to get young people involved and to represent their views.''

Plans have been revealed to transform derelict buildings in Cardiff Bay into the home of a college.

Merchant Place and the adjoining Cory’s Buildings, on the corner of Bute Place and Bute Street, have been empty for more than two decades.

The late 19th century buildings were recently bought by Cardiff Council, in a bid to protect the city’s architectural heritage.

Now the council is considering selling the buildings to Dukes Education, which owns the prestigious Cardiff Sixth Form College.

The independent college, currently on Newport Road, would relocate to the Bay, with both the college and accommodation for students in a refurbished Merchant Place and Cory’s Buildings.

Details of the plans were revealed in a recent cabinet report.

The report said: ''Although Cardiff Bay has some of the best examples of historic buildings in the city, there are relatively few compared to other cities.''

''This means the preservation of such buildings is even more important for Cardiff. Such buildings have often presented significant challenges for the private sector to overcome.''

''The proposal for Merchant Place and Cory’s Buildings will see the historic buildings totally reclaimed and upgraded for use as teaching accommodation, with ground floor activity including a coffee shop.''

''The proposal provides a vibrant scheme, attracting a significant number of young people to the area.''

''Dukes Education is a well funded organisation backed by a number of high profile pension funds. They will deliver a self-funded, owner-occupied scheme, minimising development risk.''

The council bought the buildings in January this year, and began marketing it in February. Other bids put forward to the council included a hotel and apartments.

Council bosses are hoping to recoup the initial investment and kickstart development of the derelict site.

The council’s cabinet is expected to sign off plans to sell the buildings to Dukes Education on Thursday 14th October.

A judge has thrown out a request for a judicial review into the new Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff.

Campaigners had asked the High Court to review the Welsh Government’s decision in March to approve the outline business case for the planned hospital.

They claimed there were several legal issues with that decision, including problems with the environmental impact and arguments around the clinical model.

But on September 21 a judge dismissed the application for a judicial review, and ordered the claimant and Save the Northern Meadows campaigner Catherine Lewis to pay £46,182.

In applying for the review, Ms Lewis said the Welsh Government failed to properly consider building it at the University Hospital of Wales (UHW), and would be in breach of a legal duty to maintain and enhance biodiversity by building at the Northern Meadows.

But the judge Sir Ross Cranston dismissed these claims, saying the Nuffield Trust report into Velindre, published last November, took into account a range of views on co-locating a new hospital at UHW; and said ecology was a planning matter and not part of the business case.

The judge ordered Ms Lewis to pay £10,328.50 in legal costs to the Welsh Government and £35,853.60 to Velindre University NHS Trust. Ms Lewis, a cancer patient at Velindre, said these costs were excessive and claimed she felt bullied.

She said: “I am still unable to work to full capacity due to the debilitating effects of cancer treatment and like many other self-employed people during these difficult times, I rely on working tax credit and assistance with housing costs.

“I feel like I am being bullied and intimidated by Velindre and the Welsh Government to drop the case, by scaring me with this ridiculously high level of costs they are trying to claim from me, at this very early stage in the case.”

The judgement for fees to be paid was made by the court, not the Welsh Government or Velindre.

Her lawyers have now appealed against the refusal. Save the Northern Meadows had previously raised more than £23,000 through crowdfunding to apply for the judicial review.

Enabling works to prepare the site for construction are expected to begin in the next few weeks, with building work on the hospital itself scheduled to begin in March 2023. The new Velindre Cancer Centre is due to open in summer 2025.

Earlier this month a leaked letter revealed how an advisory board of cancer experts warned against building the new Velindre hospital at the Northern Meadows. The letter argued building a standalone site would be worse for patients and research compared to building the new hospital next to a large general hospital like UHW.

But the Nuffield report, a major inquiry held last year into the plans, said building at UHW could delay the new cancer hospital for several years, while the need for the new hospital is urgent.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We are unable to comment on ongoing cases.”

A Velindre spokesperson said: “We are committed to delivering excellent non-surgical tertiary cancer services for the population of south-east Wales. It would be inappropriate to comment on a live legal case”.

Council bosses have dismissed concerns about building houses on a village green in the Vale of Glamorgan, highlighting the high local demand for social housing.

Vale of Glamorgan council wants to build four houses and six flats on a plot of land north of Maes-y-Ffynnon in the village of Bonvilston.

But the plans have been opposed by local residents, the local community council, and the council’s own planning committee.

On Monday, September 27, the council’s cabinet signed off plans to appeal to the Welsh Government against the planning committee’s delay in deciding whether to approve permission.

During the cabinet meeting, Councillor Margaret Wilkinson, cabinet member for housing and building services, said: “These much needed new council homes include older person’s accommodation in the Wenvoe ward. There are 196 people wanting to live around the Wenvoe area and in the Wenvoe ward, and this [scheme] is in the Wenvoe ward.”

Council leader Neil Moore added: “This is 10 much-needed council homes on a former disused garage site. It has gone to planning twice with a recommendation for approval, and it has been rejected but with no planning reason why to reject it. If there were a planning reason to reject it, then I would look at it differently.”

The plans first came to the planning committee in July last year, but a decision was delayed as residents had applied to legally register the land as a ‘village green’, affording it extra protection from development. However, the village green application was later rejected in an inquiry held by an independent barrister, for technical legal reasons.

James Marwick, the barrister, said villagers have been using the green “by right” rather than “as of right”, meaning the council gave them permission to use the land. He also argued the site had been legally designated for housing since the 1950s, when the land was bought by the former Cardiff Rural District Council and the existing houses on Maes-Y-Ffynnon were built.

Following the legal ruling to dismiss the village green application, the council said it would be inaccurate to refer to the site as a ‘village green’. However, local residents continue to do so.

After the application to register the site as a village green was dismissed, the plans went back to the planning committee in September this year. Councillors on the committee voted against approving the scheme, but could not agree on a proper reason to refuse permission, and so voted to again defer it. The council’s housing department is now appealing that delay.

Deputy leader Lis Burnett said: “We are talking about a brownfield site here, and we are talking about the site of disused garages, for 10 units. It’s what they call a pepperpot or pocket development within a community, on a brownfield site. This is exactly the right action for us to take.”

The plot of land is technically a ‘brownfield site’ — a planning term meaning an area that has been previously built on — because a small section used to have five garages, which have since been knocked down. That section has been replaced with hardstanding, but the rest of the green area remains unchanged, according to local residents.

Ian Perry, chair of the St Nicholas with Bonvilston community council, said: “It has been used as a village green for 70 years, somewhere for children to go and play or adults to meet, socialise and hold events. It still remains a village green. Calling it otherwise is just wrong.

“Where the garages were is now hardstanding parking, but that’s just a small little area. The village green was there before the garages were. There’s a huge amount of green space, there’s space for children to play or kick a ball around, and it’s a beautiful open area. The community would love to own that land and improve it."

Local tennis players are criticising plans to start charging fees to use courts in Romilly Park in Barry.

Vale of Glamorgan Council is planning to lease the tennis courts to Tennis Wales, who will refurbish the courts.

But Tennis Wales wants to charge players to use the courts, which are currently free, sparking fierce opposition.

Council bosses said the fees were needed for the refurbishment to take place and protect the courts for future generations.

The plans were first revealed in January this year, and a public consultation received several responses from concerned local residents.

One said: ''These courts have been freely used for years, and my children along with countless others enjoy the ability to play tennis in a free setting.''

''Leasing the courts to a third party would put these courts and the game of tennis further out of reach of the poorer sections of our town, when we should be prioritising outdoor activity and public health.''

Another said: ''If the resurfacing of courts is needed and is going to cost £70,000 of taxpayers money then I think it’s a disgrace to charge the public to use them, essentially paying twice.''

''I use open access courts to play tennis with my family, and if it wasn’t for them being free then I’m unsure I could keep using them due to the cost involved.''

A third said: ''These courts are extremely popular to many locals including ourselves. It’s awful to see that slowly all our leisure facilities are being lost, while our council tax rates continue to go up.''

''Our children need places to exercise and fall in love with sport, but yet you do the opposite by giving them fewer places to exercise.''

Players will have to pay using an app, which will also have information on court availability. The Romilly Park courts will be free to use at certain times, and other council courts in Barry will continue to be free.

Council bosses and Tennis Wales said charging players to use the courts would increase the amount of people playing tennis, as the fees would be reinvested in improving the courts.

For the initial refurbishment scheme, Tennis Wales will pay £45,000, Sports Wales will pay £30,000, and the Vale council will pay £75,000.

It’s unclear how much the fees will be or when the changes will take effect. The plans were signed off by the cabinet in a meeting on Monday.

Councillor Kathryn McCaffer, cabinet member for leisure, arts and culture, said: ''In reality, we would have charged for those facilities ourselves, had it been commercially viable for us to do so.''

''The grant that is coming from Tennis Wales and Sports Wales will fully refurbish the courts, on condition of Tennis Wales managing that facility.''

''The condition of the courts is really a concern and we would like the refurbishment to go ahead to protect tennis as a future sport in Wales.''

''Tennis Wales’ motivation for investing in the courts is to encourage this usage and they have implemented various schemes across Wales which allow free use at certain times.''

''All of the funds that are generated by the courts at Romilly Park will be reinvested by Tennis Wales to maintain the courts for further tennis development in the Vale of Glamorgan.''

Cllr Ben Gray, cabinet member for social care and health, said: ''There has been a recent surge in interest in tennis and it’s important we do as much as we can to support as many young people being able to access high quality provision.''

''The level of funding we have available to directly fund certain things has been more limited, due to a number of factors. And so the ability to work with partners to provide fantastic facilities for the community is absolutely key.''

Tennis Wales said the fees would remain low and any income generated would be reinvested locally.

Jamie Clewer, head of participation at Tennis Wales, said: ''We are absolutely committed to keeping tennis accessible for the local community in Romilly Park in partnership with Vale of Glamorgan council, and charging a potential small fee for court usage will help us to ensure that the courts do not fall into disrepair again.''

''This was not a decision made lightly, and all income generated will be invested back into the court, into free tennis initiatives, and providing free equipment for local schools.''

''Resurfacing the courts will offer the public greater safety when playing, and should safeguard the courts for up to 10 more years.''

''We wholeheartedly recognise that the reintroduction of fees to play at Romilly Park may cause concern. We want to assure the local community that potential fees will remain low, with all revenue generated reinvested in the Romilly Park courts and tennis development locally.''

''Tennis Wales is a not-for-profit organisation, with the aim of raising funds annually and re-investing into the game.''

''We will continue to consult with local groups in and around Romilly Park who have a vested interest in the park, and our immediate priority is to work with the Vale of Glamorgan council to get the courts redeveloped and in a state befitting Romilly Park’s green flag status. Romilly Park is over 100 years old, we want to ensure tennis courts are a key feature of the next 100 years of the park.''

Several questions remain unanswered on the uncertain future of a Rhoose family farm earmarked for a business park.

Last month, Vale of Glamorgan Council granted planning permission to Legal and General to build the 45-acre industrial estate on Model Farm, near Cardiff Airport.

But earlier this month, it emerged a lack of financial information made public meant the decision will likely be quashed.

Rhys Jenkins, whose family have lived at Model Farm since 1935, welcomed the news that it would be quashed, but said the farm is ''now back in limbo''.

Meanwhile, council bosses were pressed for answers earlier this week on what exactly went wrong.

Mr Jenkins said: ''We’re happy with the way it has gone. The council didn’t make information public that should have been made public. But it has to go to the courts to be quashed officially.''

''We’ve been told it’s more than likely they will try and put it in front of the planning committee again. But this time they’re aware they’re being watched and looked over. It’ll be before the end of the year, we think.''

''It’s very good news and it has stalled the development for now, giving us a bit longer to sort things out. But it leaves us in limbo, and we’re back to the uncertainty of not knowing where we stand or what’s going on.''

Previously, the Jenkins family, who farm cattle and wildflower seeds, said landowners Legal and General have given them until the end of July next year to move out.

Since the plans were first put forward, campaigners set up the Vale Communities Unite group to save the farm, which has attracted huge local support and raised funds to fight the planning decision.

Mr Jenkins added he hoped the planning committee could refuse permission, if the application were put forward again in the future with the legal issues resolved. He also thanked the local community for their support.

He said: ''If and when it does go back to the planning committee, if all the information is actually made available to read, then hopefully they’ll see it’s not a viable development and that it’s a ridiculous idea. Hopefully their decision might change.''

''We’re overwhelmed to see the support and messages we’ve had. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone in the community and everyone who has helped and sent letters. It’s greatly welcomed and appreciated.''

During a full council meeting on Monday, council bosses were asked to explain the reasons behind the omission of the financial information - regarding the viability of the development and Section 106 obligations - and what action was taken to prevent similar problems in future.

One reason given was new case law, which the council didn’t know about.

Councillor George Carroll, leader of the Conservative group, said: ''The council has admitted that viability information was not disclosed as required on the Model Farm planning application. As a result, the council has agreed not to contest the judicial review of that decision and so that planning permission is likely to be quashed.''

''Will the cabinet member please confirm how this error has been allowed to occur, and what measures the council is putting in place to ensure that such errors don’t occur in future, so that residents can have confidence in the planning process.''

Cllr Eddie Williams, the cabinet member for legal, regulatory and planning services, said: ''Clearly this is quite an important topic. The council wasn’t found in error or at fault. We took advice from counsel, and there was some information found that was unknown by the rest of the councils in the whole of Wales.''

''There was some case law that changed the view. The basis of that case was more to do with housing and the main purpose wasn’t about viability. So other planning authorities weren’t aware of this actual issue until we sought this counsel.''

''We’ve got to let the process go through. There is a letter going out regarding this whole situation and how we have come to this situation. All councillors were made aware of the current situation. We just need to let it pan through and we’ll go from there.''

The council has previously declined to comment on the issue while the case goes through the courts, apart from an initial statement made on September 13, when a spokesman said: ''The council has received a letter setting out the grounds for a judicial review application in relation to the planning approval granted for this development.''

''Having considered the contents of that letter with its legal team, the council has agreed to consent to the application to quash its original decision.''

''If the court approves the order quashing the original decision, the planning application will be returned to the council to redetermine following full consideration of all relevant matters.''

Plaid Cymru and the Green Party are forming an electoral pact in Cardiff for the upcoming local elections.

Voters will decide who should run the 22 councils across Wales in May next year.

Cardiff council has been run by Labour since 2012, and led by Councillor Huw Thomas since 2017.

Ahead of the elections, Plaid and the Greens have revealed plans to prepare a joint ‘Common Ground’ manifesto for Cardiff and work together as a ‘single united party’ in the city.

Anthony Slaughter, Wales Green Party leader, said Cardiff was losing public green spaces and suffering from over-development.

He said: ''At a time of climate and environmental emergency and growing inequality, ‘business as usual’ politics is failing our communities at every level of government.''

''Warm words and vague ambitions from elected representatives are no longer enough as Cardiff suffers from an increasing loss of invaluable public green spaces, inappropriate over-development and planning decisions all so often skewed against the needs of the communities impacted.''

''Wales Green Party believes that power and decision-making should always be devolved to the most appropriate local level, and we believe that this alliance on areas of common ground will give Cardiff voters an opportunity to vote for real change and genuine community representation.''

''The challenges facing our capital city are urgent and require new ways of thinking. This working together, cooperative ‘grown-up’ politics is the change that is needed.''

The Greens have not held a seat on Cardiff council before, but the party received almost 4,000 votes in the last election in 2017, and more than 6,000 votes in 2012.

Three Plaid Cymru councillors were elected to the council in 2017, although they have since left Plaid and are now in the new Propel party, led by ex-MS Neil McEvoy.

Rhys ab Owen, Plaid Cymru MS for South Wales Central, said: ''Plaid Cymru in Cardiff is proud to be part of this announcement of a new political alliance in our capital city.''

''This new electoral alternative can be the change that Cardiff needs, offering communities a fresh political voice by standing under a single joint name on the ballot paper.''

''This is about recognising common ground between our parties and campaigners, and working together to do politics in a new and more co-operative way, recognising the need for a new political force that will protect and nurture everything that is good about Cardiff, and which will meet the challenge of the climate crisis and the reckless and faceless over-development we’re seeing in parts of the city.''

''We are actively reaching out to those from outside of politics who might share our values and can make a difference.''

Further information on the deal will be announced at a full campaign launch later this year, along with candidate announcements.

Vale of Glamorgan council is set to appeal against a decision by its own planning committee about building houses on a village green.

The council’s housing department wants to build four houses and six flats on a village green in Bonvilston.

But earlier this month councillors on the planning committee voted against granting permission for the affordable housing scheme, due to concerns about the loss of the green.

An application to legally protect the site as a ‘village green’ was dismissed earlier this year. While local residents still continue to refer to the area as a ‘village green’, the council has said this is inaccurate following the legal ruling.

Councillors couldn’t agree on a reason to refuse permission, so they voted to defer making a decision.

Now the housing department is appealing to the Welsh Government against that delay.

Details of the internal row were revealed in a recent cabinet report. The council’s cabinet is expected to sign off the appeal at a meeting on Monday, September 27.

Some councillors suggested the plans should be changed, with fewer homes and keeping more of the green as public open space. But this would make the scheme “unaffordable”, according to the cabinet report, and make it harder to find developers to build the homes.

The report said: “A scheme of fewer dwellings would be a less attractive commercial prospect for potential bidders at tender stage. It would be a poor use of public resources to replan for a less efficient scheme that would deliver less affordable housing, at a time when need for affordable housing has never been greater.”

The plans for the 10 homes on land north of Maes-Y-Ffynon were first put forward in 2019. The planning committee initially heard the application in July last year, but voted to defer making a decision, pending the outcome of a separate application by local residents to legally register the land as a village green, which would protect it from development.

But the village green application was later turned down. The planning committee again heard the application on September 1, and again voted to defer the application. Planning law means councillors must give specific legal reasons to refuse permission for developments, and the Vale’s committee couldn’t agree on reasons to refuse the village green scheme.

St Nicholas with Bonvilston community council opposed the scheme for “a huge list of reasons”, and had previously asked for a community asset transfer to take control of the village green and enhance it, although this was refused. The green is one of the few parts of open public space in the area and is well used by local residents.

A later part of the cabinet report explains how appealing against the decision — made by elected councillors — meets one of the council’s wellbeing objectives of “involving the population in decisions”.

It said: “In arriving at a decision to provide new affordable housing, the council will fully consult with its tenants and residents on development proposals and consider their response, from the feasibility stage through to the determination of the planning application and when the scheme is being delivered.”

If the housing department wins the appeal, the Welsh Government’s planning inspectorate could decide to grant planning permission for the village green scheme.

A Vale of Glamorgan council spokesperson said: “The council’s housing department has asked cabinet to allow it to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate in an effort to progress this much-needed development.

“There are currently 6,000 people on the waiting list for a council home in the Vale, where there is a significant shortage of suitable housing.

“The council has recently delivered social housing developments at Clos Holm View and Llys Llechwedd Jenner in Barry. Others are in the pipeline at Hayes Road and Hayeswood Road in the town along with an older persons’ apartment complex in Penarth.

“This is an important 10-property development in Bonvilston that will meet the needs of the community now and in the future.”

Views will be sought in the autumn on potential changes to the Vale of Glamorgan’s local development plan.

Local development plans are major council policies which set out where and how much building should take place across an area.

The current plan includes schemes like the regeneration of Barry Waterfront but also more unpopular developments like the proposed business park at Model Farm.

In November, Vale of Glamorgan council will begin the first of several public consultations on replacing its development plan, looking at what priorities and issues should be considered.

Then, next summer, the council will make a call for candidate sites to be put forward for potential housing developments or for employment use. Several further consultations and revisions will be made until the replacement plan is finally signed off in October 2025.

Details of the replacement plan were revealed in a recent cabinet report. The council’s cabinet is due to meet on Monday, September 27, to approve the start of the process.

The cabinet report said: “Overall, it is considered that the adopted local development plan strategy remains relevant. It has been effective in promoting development opportunities in the key settlement of Barry and in other sustainable urban settlements in the South East Zone.

“The ongoing regeneration of Barry Waterfront has been particularly successful in providing a mix of uses including housing, employment, retail, and leisure uses as well as new infrastructure.

“The Cardiff Airport and Bro Tathan Enterprise Zone has attracted significant new inward investment to the Vale of Glamorgan and will continue to be a key consideration in the replacement local development plan.”

Once sites are earmarked for development, either for housing or employment, it can be difficult for local communities to prevent planning applications getting approval. One example is Model Farm, east of Cardiff Airport, which was earmarked as a potential major employment site in the current development plan.

The current plan sets out how land across the Vale of Glamorgan should be developed until 2026. The replacement plan would cover a period of 15 years, up until 2036, taking into account how the population of the Vale is likely to grow over that time.

Other factors likely to influence the replacement development plan include climate change and the coronavirus pandemic, and how local planning policies can adapt to tackle both crises.

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