Friday, November 09, 2012

New town will only bring new problems

I have written previously of the proposed development forTalbot Green – the creation of a new town there which has caused some consternation amongst local residents and others.

Wales Online this week reported that Sainsbury’s is confirmed as the anchor store there.  The plans were submitted earlier this year and some consultation already carried out.

Amongst the responses, which can be found on the planning section of RCT website, is one from the Director of Development Services at The Vale of Glamorgan Council, objecting to the proposal on a number of grounds.

He says that no consideration has been made of the impact on retail centres in Barry and Cowbridge, which are as close to the development as “centres which have been examined such as Tonypandy and Ferndale.”
The Vale Council also objects on the grounds that there has been no traffic impact assessment in relation to the A4222 to Cowbridge and that there has been no discussions between the two Councils with regard to traffic distribution.  They therefore have concerns about highways traffic and safety.

The question has to be asked, if an adjacent Council is raising such concerns then why aren’t RCT Officers and Members asking the same questions?  Why was this ever put into the Local Development Plan?  As I have said before there are serious questions over whether the infrastructure can cope with this level of development tin this area.  Personally I don’t think it can.  Also what effect will this have on existing town centres?  The Vale of Glamorgan Council are obviously worried about that, why isn’t RCT?

What is their justification for this proposal?  We have enough shops lying empty and enough problems in existing retail areas within the County Borough.  Planning Policy Wales guidance is clear that development should first take place around existing town centres and that developments such as this should only take place in exceptional circumstances of the need is established beyond doubt.  Is that the case here?  I don’t think so.



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