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1,200-home Cardiff scheme looks set for approval

Welsh government minister for natural resources Carl Sargeant has released a letter voicing his support for a controversial 1,200 home scheme.

The proposal was originally refused by Cardiff County Council on grounds including the perceived lack of a sustainable transport strategy, appropriate affordable housing provision and an adequate provision of community facilities.

The proposal, known as ‘Churchlands’, was submitted by developer South Wales Land Developments Ltd, and concerns a 47.4 hectare site of undulating ‘greenfield’ land to the north and east of the village of Lisvane.

In his letter, Sargeant noted that reporting inspector Hywel Wyn Jones had recommended that the appeal be allowed subject to a number of planning conditions.

The minister further noted that Jones’s report on the Cardiff Local Development Plan (LDP) confirmed that the appeal site is on land identified for residential development within strategic site F: North East Cardiff (West of Pontprennau), and thus the allocation of the appeal site is supported in principle by the LDP. If approved, the appeal scheme would contribute more than 25 per cent of planned housing for the area, which is allocated to deliver 4,500 housing units over the remainder of the development plan period 2015 to 2026.

Sargeant wrote that he was minded to accept Jones’s recommendation for approval, but considered that before planning permission could be granted a number of issues arising from the section 106 unilateral undertaking - including concerns relating to affordable housing provision - needed to be resolved.

Lisvane Community Council has submitted objections to the scheme, which include a perceived “lack of meaningful consultation” with the council and local residents.

In 2010, the land had been transferred from the Welsh government to a public body called the Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales. The site attracted controversy in 2012 after the farmland was sold for £15,000 an acre - a value that could rise to over £1 million an acre with planning permission.

Sargeant’s decision letter can be viewed here.