Welsh Government needs regional housing strategy not meaningless green belt campaigns

02/11/12

WELSH GOVERNMENT NEEDS REGIONAL HOUSING

STRATEGY NOT MEANINGLESS GREEN BELT CAMPAIGNS

Calls for the designation of a green belt north of the M4 motorway around Cardiff have been dismissed by Jonathan Evans, Member of Parliament for Cardiff North.

Commenting on recent reports that the Cardiff North Assembly Member, Julie Morgan, is to campaign for such a green belt designation, Mr. Evans said:

“There is as much chance of housing development being granted north of the M4 motorway as there is for a new housing estate being built in the grounds of Cardiff Castle.  The designation of land north of the M4 motorway as green belt when there is only one other green belt designation in Wales is a complete irrelevance.  The issue here is the Cardiff Labour Council’s plans for a massive expansion of housing to the south of the M4 motorway, most of it affecting the Cardiff North constituency.  These plans were only passed by the Council with the votes of newly elected Labour councillors in Cardiff North whose campaigns were all actively supported by Mrs. Morgan.  The newly elected Labour Councillor for Pontprennau, whose ward is most heavily affected by these plans, was the only Labour member not to actively support this massive expansion and even she did not vote against it.

“The real issue here which must be grappled with at the National Assembly level is for the Welsh Government to promote a regional strategy for housing development in Cardiff and the surrounding area.  I previously warned that the current plans risk sucking the life out of the valley communities to the north of Cardiff and most commentators now agree that it is essential for the Welsh Government to promote Cardiff as a city region.  In spite of this, the First Minister is insisting that Cardiff proceed with adopting a development plan limited to the current city boundaries and there has been no initiative taken to get all neighbouring authorities together with the aim of developing such a regional strategy.”