At least 200 residents attended during the six hour Barratt Homes exhibition held at the Lee Hall in the village on Thursday 24th August. On display were proposals to build 230 homes on the site of the former St Cyres Lower School.
“However, rather than house-buying everyone seemed to have one thing on their mind: how were the construction vehicles and then the new home-owners going to access the site? When it was explained by helpful company representatives that they intended using Murch Crescent and Murch Road to access the A4055 over the railway bridge there was an almost audible exclamation of ‘No way,’ reported Dinas Powys By-pass Steering Group Chair, Rod Harrod.
Numerous comments have been made to back up this exclamation:
- Safety, including clear access at all times for ambulances and other emergency vehicles to the Health Centre and existing residents.
- Danger, during construction, to School children walking to schools.
- Health, particularly the added air pollution at the Infant School at the Murch Road and Cardiff Road traffic lights.
- Traffic congestion which the Vale Council’s own consultants, Capita Symonds projected will grow so that, by 2026, rush hour traffic would be backed-up from the Cardiff Road to the Health Centre.
N.B. The Cardiff Road / Murch Road junction is the only Dinas Powys junction running at over-capacity even in 2012 according to the Council’s Highways Impact Assessment (HIA).
- The impact on the Strategic Highway Network, of which Cardiff Road forms part.
- The recently signed Local Development Plan states: “All new developments that have a direct impact onto the strategic transportation infrastructure will be required to deliver appropriate improvements to the network.” (SP7 p48 and MG18 p80)
- Plans to build another 70 houses off Caerleon Road with access to the main road network also via Murch Road and the traffic lights at Cardiff Road.
“Together these developments would add around 1,200 extra road trips a day, although Barratt officials pointed out they wouldn’t all be travelling at the same time. No, just most of them at peak morning and evening rush hours,” commented Rod Harrod.
“Interestingly, only one person attending the exhibition was heard to object to the development – not just its access.
“We kept hearing people say that if the development was delayed until after the by-pass is built then access (off the by-pass) would not be a problem. That, of course, is up to the Welsh Assembly Government to confirm the by-pass will be funded and the start and projected end times confirmed.”