Barratts at site of St Cyres Lower School, top of Murch Crescent
United Welsh Housing Association at site off Caerleon Road, Murch
by DINAS POWYS BY-PASS STEERING GROUP August 2017
(sponsored by Dinas Powys Conservatives).
Full Planning Applications for these developments are expected to be submitted to the Vale Council shortly. These comments cover points which could be made when this happens.
The current plans are for 220 houses at the St Cyres site and 70 houses at the Caerleon Rd site.
These estates will generate additional traffic both during construction and after occupation. The only road access to both these sites is off the traffic light controlled junction on the strategic highway Cardiff Road (A4055) and up Murch Road.
The implications of extra traffic on Murch Road include:
- Safety – including the need for open access for Emergency Vehicles to and from the Health Centre and for residents living along the roads leading to the developments.
- Safety for school children entering and leaving Dinas Powys Infant School.
- Safety for residents of all ages crossing roads, particularly at the Murch Road / Castle Drive junction, and accessing the shops on Castle Drive.
- Added pollution along the routes.
- Increased noise along the routes.
- The impact on the already over-capacity strategic highway through Dinas Powys.
This last point probably represents the strongest case for objecting to each of the planning applications as explained below. A further point relating to the disposal of sewage from the St Cyres site is covered later in these comments.
1 – Impact on Strategic Highway network
The new administration in the Vale were given no option but to sign into law at the end of June 2017 the Local Development Plan (LDP) compiled by the previous administration. Policies SP7, MG16 and MD5 form part of the document. Each contains requirements that relate to the impact of new developments on the strategic transport infrastructure and specifically on the highway network.
The relevant extracts are as follows:-
Policy SP7 – Transportation
The last paragraph states: ‘All new developments that have a direct impact on the strategic transportation infrastructure will be required to deliver appropriate improvements to the network.’
Policy MG 16 – Transport Proposals
The last section under the sub-heading ‘Highway Improvement Works’ states: ‘In addition, to mitigate the impact of development on the highway network, highway improvement works in the form of corridor or junction improvement schemes will be required.’
Policy MD 5 – Developments within Settlement Boundaries
Dinas Powys and Sully are among the LDP’s listed Settlements. The second sentence of this Policy states: ‘New development within these settlements will be permitted where the proposed development: ’ There follows a list of various ‘do’s’ and ‘don’t’ points, including at number 6: ‘Has no unacceptable impact on the amenity and character of the locality by way of noise, traffic congestion and parking.’
These Policies mean that no new development will be permitted if it would result in an adverse or unacceptable impact on the highway network. So, in order for a new development which would have such an impact to gain planning permission, appropriate highway improvement works would need to be implemented first.
The strategic road junction nearest the St Cyres and Caerleon Road developments is the Cardiff Rd / Murch Rd traffic light junction.
To identify the severity of the impact these developments could have on this junction, we have looked at the following traffic studies
- Capita Symonds – Highway Impact Assessment (HIA) for Vale Council, August 2013.
- Asbri Transport – Transport Statement for United Welsh Housing Association, February 2015
- RPS Group – Transport Assessment for Barratt Homes South Wales, August 2017
Traffic count surveys were carried out in December 2012 for the HIA and in September 2015 for Barratt’s St Cyres development. Asbri’s report appears to have used the HIA’s 2012 traffic figures for this junction though they did counts in 2013 and 2015 for the Castle Drive / Conway Close and Murch Rd / Castle Drive junctions.
All three studies show that the Cardiff Rd / Murch Rd / Millbrook Rd junction was close to or over capacity at the start of the study period. This is illustrated by the following figures for PRC (Practical Reserve Capacity ) and for the number of cars queueing on Murch Road back from the traffic lights. PRC is a measure of the spare capacity at a road junction. A negative PRC in red indicates that a junction is over capacity.
All figures are based on the pedestrian lights working on each cycle which is usual when children are being taken to or from the Infant’s School on the corner of this junction. However, for comparison, the PRC figures with no pedestrian light delays are shown in brackets.
|Study||HIA for Vale Council (2012)||Asbri for Caerleon (2015)||RPS for St Cyres (2015)|
|PRC during morning peak||-18.7% (7.8%)||16.2% (42.7%)||11.0% (36.6%)|
|PRC during afternoon peak||-46.7% (-5.7%)||-6.6% (15.6%)||-1.5% (16.4%)|
|Murch Rd morning queue||27 cars||13 cars||10 cars|
|Murch Rd afternoon queue||70 cars||12 cars||11 cars|
The Vale-commissioned HIA study shows the junction is over capacity to a greater amount and with longer queues on Murch Road in 2012 than the studies for developers show in 2015.
All studies assess the future traffic situation taking into account general growth, committed development and planned developments such as at Caerleon Rd and St Cyres. The HIA and Asbri give projected traffic figures for 2026 and 2028 respectively while the RPS study only looks as far ahead as 2020.
What all studies show is that traffic congestion at the Cardiff Rd / Murch Rd / Millbrook Rd junction will be significantly worse in the future if these developments are completed without improvements to the highway network. The extent of this deterioration is illustrated by the following figures from these reports.
|Study||HIA for Vale Council (2026)||Asbri for Caerleon (2028)||RPS for St Cyres (2020)|
|PRC during morning peak||-91.8% (-40.4%)||-19.6% (18.4%)||-22.7% (-0.1%)|
|PRC during afternoon peak||–84.6% (-33.5%)||-43.6% (-3.9%)||-27.8% (-8.5%)|
|Murch Rd morning queue||94 cars||43 cars||49 cars|
|Murch Rd afternoon queue||181 cars||54 cars||39 cars|
It can be seen that all studies predict the junction will be significantly more over capacity in the future than in 2012 or 2015. PRESS HERE for more details and figures from these reports.
The reports for both St Cyres and Caerleon developers attempt to play down the predicted future increase in traffic congestion at the Murch Road / Cardiff Road junction.
Both the Asbri and RPS reports consider that the actual situation is likely to be between the results with and without pedestrian light delays. They also mention that the lights at this junction are operated by a system (termed MOVA) that changes the timings based on the traffic situations as they are forming.
The Asbri report therefore concludes ‘that the existing junction is likely to have sufficient capacity to accommodate both developments ….’
The RPS report notes that this junction ‘is currently operating close to its design capacity’ and that ‘the proposed development will have an impact on this junction although it is not considered to be severe.’ It concludes that ‘the proposed development of 220 dwellings …… can be adequately accommodated on the local junctions to the site.’
But these statements by the Developers’ consultants do not change the fact that these developments do adversely affect this strategic highway junction by making it more congested in future and therefore do not comply with the LDP Policies referenced earlier.
So, unless adequate highway improvements are carried out, the planning applications for both the Caerleon and St Cyres developments should be rejected on the basis of non-compliance with the LDP.
2- Disposal of Sewage from the Developments
Welsh Water advise that disposal of sewage from the Caerleon site is not a problem.
Barratt’s plans for their St Cyres development show how they intend to deal with rain water drainage and with foul water drainage. Rain water is to be drained into a large on-site holding tank and soak-away with overflow piped to a local watercourse. This appears satisfactory.
However, Barratts plan for the site’s sewage to be drained to an upgraded pumping station near Sully Rd then pumped back to discharge into the head of the existing gravity sewer in Murch Crescent.
But in the documents listed below Welsh Water say that the existing Murch Crescent sewer does not have adequate capacity to take the flow from the development. At the 10 August 2017 Exhibition, Barratts were unaware of this but have now been sent these documents:-
- SD18 – VOGC and DCWW Statement of Common Ground (May 2015)
- ID-2312-Welsh Water – LDP Hearing Session 9 3 March 2016
Both these state: ‘Our local sewer network is too small to accommodate the foul flows from this development.’
The Dinas Powys By-Pass Steering Group will object to both planning applications on the grounds of non-compliance with the LDP and, in the case of the St Cyres site, have made this clear to Barratts.
We suggested to Barratts a week prior to the Exhibition that they should consider delaying their planning application until access could be provided to their site from the intended by-pass, but they were reluctant as no date has yet been given for the project.
COMMENTS SENT TO VALE COUNCIL FROM DINAS POWYS BY-PASS STEERING GROUP DURING AUGUST
Considerations for Stage 2 of WelTAG* study into
Improving Strategic Transport for Dinas Powys
*Welsh Transport planning and Appraisal Guidance. A five stage process. The first stage was carried out by ARCADIS Consulting, reported to the Vale Council Cabinet on 31st July 2017.
The ARCADIS Stage 1 Report identifies five objectives to improve strategic transport along the corridor through Dinas Powys. These are:-
Objective 1: Support Sustainable Connectivity in Cardiff City Region.
Objective 2: Facilitate and support economic growth.
Objective 3: Improving Health and Wellbeing.
Objective 4: Improved Safety and Security.
Objective 5: Benefits and Minimised impacts on the environment.
At the end of the study, three options were short-listed for further work in Stage 2:
|A: Do Minimum||B: Multi-Modal||C: By-Pass|
Option A would not achieve the objectives and was included in order to compare the Do Minimum future situation with the benefits which the other options could provide.
Option B provides minimal achievement of the objectives as explained in the table below.
Option C would achieve the objectives to varying degrees.
N.B. Options B and C are unequal in the extent to which they can achieve the stated Objectives. However, we consider that a far greater achievement of the Objectives could be obtained by a combination of feasible multi-modal improvements with a by-pass.
|Objective Ref||Extent to which Option B would achieve Objectives|
|1||The inability of this Option to significantly reduce traffic congestion along the corridor would prevent improvement of bus services and the provision of a continuous direct cycle way along the corridor. Any increase in train usage would be limited due to lack of parking facilities at stations. So there would be low achievement of this Objective.|
|2||There would be an adverse effect on economic growth due to greater congestion resulting from no increase in road or bus capacity and minimal increase in train usage. Any improvement in facilities for cyclists and pedestrians would give insignificant benefit to economic growth.|
|3||Any improvement in facilities for cyclists and pedestrians would provide some health benefit but this would be mitigated by an increase in pollution along the A4055 from greater traffic congestion.|
|4||Increased traffic congestion along the corridor would not achieve this Objective.|
|5||Increased traffic congestion along the corridor would not achieve this Objective.|
Options B and C both require work in Stage 2 to evaluate sub-options. The following table lists the sub-options that we envisage need evaluation together with the outcome information which would result.
|Ref||Sub-Options to be Evaluated||Outcome|
|1||Alternatives for increasing capacity of the Merrie Harrier junction||Identification of option with best cost benefit.|
|2||Routes for road connections from by-pass to Dinas Powys and to Penarth.||Identification of feasible routes and connection points plus their cost benefit|
|3||Alternative routes for southern part of by-pass and their connection points to existing road network.||Identification of the feasible route and connection point with greatest cost benefit.|
|4||Feasibility of any additional parking facilities at train stations and assessment of possible increase in train passengers||Identification of cost benefit of providing feasible extra car parking at train stations in corridor.|
|5||Feasibility of car passenger drop off /pick up zones at train stations.||Identification of feasible and cost-effective drop off / pick up zones.|
|6||Locations and types of secure all weather cycle parking facilities at train stations||Identification of feasible and most cost effective cycle parking facilities.|
|7||Location and size of park and ride facility adjacent to by-pass.||Identification of most cost effective size and location of P & R facility|
|8||Measures to improve safety along Station Road to Pen-y-Turnpike route by limiting speed and improving junctions.||Identification of cost effective measures to achieve objective.|
|9||Switching A4055 designation onto by-pass and making existing road through Dinas Powys a B road with weight restriction.||Removal of HGV through traffic from road through Dinas Powys.|
|10||Improved bus stop facilities and/or increased bus capacity (e.g. more buses and drivers?) to take advantage of reduced traffic congestion on A4055.||Identification of feasible cost-effective improvements for new facilities and/or additional buses and staff.|
|11||Routes for new or improved cycle ways and feasibility of schemes.||Identification of feasible and cost-effective new or improved cycle ways.|
|12||Routes / locations for new or improved pedestrian facilities and scheme feasibility.||Identification of cost effective new or improved pedestrian facilities.|
Because the cost and benefit of each option will have been estimated individually, it will be possible to identify the overall cost benefit of combinations of options. Any combination that excluded a by-pass simply could not provide overall, lasting benefit.
The results from this work will show the potential benefits to transport in the Barry to Cardiff corridor and thereby in the Eastern Vale that would be achievable for different levels of total expenditure.
This may help achieve the most beneficial combination of options possible.
BY-PASS MOVING FORWARD
There has never been a time when plans for the creation of a by-pass around Dinas Powys have moved forward in such a positive manner.
“It’s now the priority infrastructure project on the Vale Council Cabinet’s agenda and they’ve already proved these aren’t just empty words,” said Rod Harrod, Chair of Dinas Powys By—Pass Steering Group.
“Within a couple of days of the Cabinet being formed we had a very successful conference call with the new member for transport, Cllr Geoff Cox and his Head of Department Emma Reed.
“Then, last week, fellow Steering Group member Roger Pattenden and I gave a one hour presentation to the Leader of the Council, Cllr John Thomas, the Vale’s Managing Director Rob Thomas and Emma Reed together with Cllr Cox, Sully Cllr and Cabinet member Bob Penrose with councillors Andy Robertson, Vince Driscoll and Rob Crowley from Dinas Powys Community Council.
“It was extremely well received and the Leader confirmed the Council’s full support for a by-pass.
“This, of course, changes the ball game completely. First Minister Carwen Jones is on record as saying the Welsh Government will look seriously if a formal application for funding is received from the Vale Council. I’m confident, with the stated support, this application will be forthcoming within months, not years.
Ken Skates AM, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, has agreed that whatever the outcome of the study currently being carried out by consultants Arcadis must be fully funded. The Steering Group also responded this week to his comments to the National Assembly’s Petitions Committee, much of which referred to the reaction of the previous Vale Council administration. The Group will be reporting to the Committee again for their meeting on 27th June.
The Arcadis study is Stage 1 of the recently published new five-part Welsh Transport Planning and Appraisal Guidance (WelTAG) process. The study was funded with £15,000 paid jointly by the Council and the Welsh Government. All major development projects must go through the WelTAG process.
Arcadis’ Stage 1 report has been completed and the Vale Cabinet will shortly review it. The Cabinet will then decide which proposed solutions to transport in the Dinas Powys corridor should be short-listed for further investigation in Stage 2 for which £60,000 has already been allocated.
“The general consensus from councillors and officers at last week’s presentation was that a by-pass would be on the short-list, if not the only project,” added Rod Harrod.
“If, as seems likely, a by-pass is selected as the preferred option from Stage 2, it would proceed on to Stage 3 for detailed and thorough appraisal. Stage 4 would be implementation of the project.”
The exclusion of a by-pass from the Local Development Plan would not prevent its implementation.
“On behalf of the Group, Roger Pattenden described with diagrams the potential routes for a by-pass with three options for part of the route. We also provided a list of the benefits of a by-pass and a comparison of the features of each route option. All three options start at an upgraded Merrie Harrier junction. One is very similar to the previously safeguarded route coming down onto the Barry Road near the entrance to the Water Treatment Works and then on the existing road to McDonald’s roundabout.
“The other two route options go to the Sully roundabout and then the suggestion is that the ‘by-pass’ is continued along Hayes Road and across the docks via an upgraded Wimborne Road to join up with Ffordd y Mileniwm in order to benefit traffic to or from south Barry.
“Different route options offer benefits to adjacent communities to which the by-pass could be connected including not only Dinas Powys but areas like Sully and the new estates at Cog and Cosmeston as well as Lower Penarth – plus the 4,000 new houses at Barry Waterfront.
“We suggested adoption of the Vale Officers’ name for the by-pass as the Barry Waterfront to Cardiff Link Road – to emphasise how it will help transport throughout the eastern Vale.”
Mr Harrod admits there are still many hurdles to overcome but that there was, at last, some positive action.
Dinas Powys Steering Group is sponsored by the local Conservative Branch. Members also strongly emphasised the amount of local opposition there was to planning being granted to the proposed 230 houses at the former St Cyres lower school site without alternative access from the by-pass.
“To even consider this development without proper access must be out of the question,” commented Vale Cllr Andy Robertson, who is also the new chair of Dinas Powys Community Council. “The thought of even construction vehicles using Murch Road to access the site doesn’t bare thinking about.”
Cardiff Road from the Infant School Bus Stop looking towards Eastbrook
Rod Harrod, Chair of Dinas Powys By-Pass Steering Group, looks on angrily at the continual log-jam of traffic near Dinas Powys Infants School
Roger Pattenden BSc MICE, a member of Dinas Powys By-Pass Steering Group, looks on in dismay at the continual log-jam of traffic near Dinas Powys Infants School
Traffic piling up on the Cardiff Road in front of Dinas Powys Infant School
TUNE IN FROM 9AM ON TUESDAY, 4TH APRIL AS WELSH ASSEMBLY DISCUSS THE DINAS POWYS BY-PASS PETITION
Click link for Agenda: http://senedd.assembly.wales/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=430&MId=3948&Ver=4
Link for Senedd.tv: http://www.senedd.tv
PLEASE READ THE BRIEFING PAPER PRODUCED BY THE DINAS POWYS BY-PASS STEERING GROUP. CLICK BELOW FOR WORD DOCUMENT:
VALE COUNCIL STUDY INTO TRANSPORT ISSUES WITHIN CORRIDOR THROUGH DINAS POWYS
NOTES FROM PUBLIC CONSULTATION SESSION, Monday 13th March at Parish Hall
There was much to be gained from this session – if the right people were asked the right questions.
* Stage 1 Study report by consultants, Arcadis due to be completed in the next couple of weeks. It won’t go before the Vale Council’s Cabinet, and therefore won’t become public, until after the local elections on 4th May.
* Cabinet needs to give green light for funding of further stages to study the options chosen from the Stage 1 Study.
The By-Pass Steering Group presented a number of questions and proposals to the Officials and Consultants that had been compiled by Chartered Civil Engineer Roger Pattenden and Rod Harrod and are summarised as follows:-
1.) Why is the A4055 between McDonalds and Merrie Harrier the only stretch of Strategic Transport Corridor in the Vale not to by-pass a major settlement (Dinas Powys) on its route?
2.) Could Section 106 money paid by developers be put into a pot towards the funding of the By-Pass which the Vale Council now call the Barry Waterfront to Cardiff Link Road? If Waterfront residents are going to use it, why shouldn’t that section 106 money be put into the pot? People won’t want to buy a house there when they can’t get to Cardiff without long delays. What have Dinas Powys Vale Councillors requested Section 106 money be spent on in this area?
3. We presented to Officers and consultants our double-roundabout proposal for Merrie Harrier. Officials were surprised the former petrol station land might still be available. We’ve provided them with contact details.
4. We emphasised the pollution effect on children and adults of the increasing number of HGVs and diesel vehicles on the A4055 – particularly from Cardiff Bay when the A4232 extension is completed in a few weeks. We don’t believe the Council’s reports have taken this extra traffic into account,
5. We indicated it would need a 75% shift from people using their own vehicles to other forms of transport to make inroads into the current over-capacity on the A4055. We think this is unlikely because:-
Trains : Network Rail have said implementation on Metro Phase 3 to improve capacity on Barry to Cardiff isn’t likely to start until after 2020.
Undercover, secure cycle parking facilities at both stations are needed.
Drop-off zones to enable people to alight and pick up at both stations on both sides of A4055 are needed.
Difficult, but possible – park-and-ride areas at stations are needed.
Lack of shuttle bus routes within Dinas Powys for people not living close to bus stops and stations on the A4055.
Highlighted lack of buses, particularly to Penarth after 6.00p.m. and on Sundays.
Suggested possibility of summer circular route via Sully, Cosmeston, Penarth Esplanade and Penarth back to Dinas Powys.
6. We established the ‘Bus Priority Routes’ in several Vale Council documents referred to the stretch of road between the Merrie Harrier and the Barons Court interchange. It must be assumed this costly development is aimed to take the dozens of buses anticipated from the proposed 500 space park-and-ride the Vale Council plan for Cosmeston Park.
7. Plans to build a cycle/pedestrian track alongside the Barry Road from McDonalds to Cross Common. No funds committed to negotiate with the ten landowners the path would cross. This makes it unlikely to happen for years. Other routes along the Dinas Powys corridor for cyclists are circuitous or dangerous because of narrow hilly single-track roads.
8. Council have no plans in place to prevent the daily rat-run, through the village via Station Road and out towards Leckwith along Penny-Turnpike
We informed up to 50% of A4055 traffic is using this route in peak hours.
A traffic count in 2015 showed up to 850 vehicles an hour using this route – greater than the Vale Council’s assessment of traffic on the A4055.
Long-awaited road safety improvement measures for the blind-corner junction of Millbrook Road with Penny-turnpike are likely to be given the funding green light within the next month.
9. The Vale Council have committed in numerous places in their Local Development Plan (LDP) to provide ‘appropriate highway infrastructure’ to cater for the 10,000 new houses they plan to be built in the next five years. But no firm and funded proposals have been put in place. Nor have they scaled back on the planned developments to mitigate the lack of infrastructure.
10. We emphasised to Consultants that it would not be a complete study of transport around Dinas Powys without the costs and benefits of a by-pass taken into consideration. None of the five other studies carried out in the last five years have assessed the by-pass as a potential option.
11. We drew attention to the way a by-pass is being progressed for the A473 between Llanharran and Brynnau Gwynion although its not a Strategic Highway and runs parallel to the M4. The settlements along its route are far less in population than those that would be relieved by a Dinas Powys By-pass.
There are still a few days left to complete the petition for the Welsh Government to fund the By-Pass. It will be presented to the Welsh Government at the end of the month.
We must all keep pushing for a solution to the increasing traffic problems which we think requires the By-pass. It’s better than sitting in endless queues.
DINAS POWYS BY-PASS CAMPAIGN – WE NEED YOUR HELP
The By-pass petition is going from strength to strength – but we still need more people to sign:
Has everyone in you home signed?
If not, please do so at: www.dinaspowysbypass.co.uk
Have you asked your friends, relatives, neighbours, everyone you know onLine to sign?
Will you help get more signatures door to door – even just your street?
Will you display a window poster: Sign DINAS BY-PASS PETITION
(If you can help please email or text your name and contact to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02922214488).
Lobbying the Vale of Glamorgan Council to:
Persuade them to put the Dinas Powys by-pass (they call it the Barry Waterfront to Cardiff Link Road) back in their Local Development Plan (LDP) and to apply to the Welsh Government for funding.
• First Minister Carwyn Jones has said they would seriously consider the By-pass (initially proposed in 1928) if the Council applied to the Welsh Government.
• Secretary of State for the Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates A.M. said in October 2016 he was to instruct his staff to meet with their counterparts in the Vale to find a way to solve the Dinas Powys traffic problem, that would be fully funded.
• The Press Release that followed the 12th December meeting and a recent Email from the Council added a caveat – that the solution ‘fits with the Council’s Local Development Plan’ – from which the Council has excluded the By-Pass.
(The By-Pass was included in the Conservative Council’s UDP in 2009 and was in every study and report – including those commissioned by councils – between 2007 and 2013. When Labour took control of the Vale in 2011 their Leader, Ian Moore, talked of scrapping the LDP system. Instead, when they filed their draft LDP in 2013 they scrapped the Dinas Powys By-Pass instead).
• On 26th and 28th January the Independent Inspector evaluating the LDP will hear the final wind-up submissions and changes. He is expected to announce his findings in Mid-April 2017.
THE VALE COUNCIL PLAN 10,000 HOUSES IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS –PUTTING 20,000 MORE VEHICLES ON VALE ROADS DAILY…40,000 MORE TRIPS EVERY DAY, the majority through Dinas Powys.
Yes, it’s that serious.
THE VALE COUNCIL PLAN TO SELL LAND ADJOINING THE DIMAS POWYS HEALTH CENTRE TO BUILD 300 HOUSES – ADDING (AFTER CONSTRUCTION VEHICLES) 1,500 ROAD TRIPS DAILY ALONG MURCH ROAD.
IF THE HOUSES ARE BUILT FIRST THE BY-PASS MAY NEVER HAPPEN
We plan a totally peaceful, totally legal Protest PRESS / MEDIA PHOTO CALL next week. Obviously the element of surprise is paramount… but we need a small group there…just to stand with signs while interviews with TV and Press take place.
If you are keen to give real support to this campaign please call us on 02922214488 and we’ll contact you with the time and place.
We will send out further emails as the campaign progresses but please keep an eye on our website and in the local press.
For over 50 years a strip of land has been safeguarded along the proposed route of the by-pass (from the Barry Road / Green Lane turn-off over Pop Hill to Cross Common along to the Merrie Harrier). For many years a map of the lay-out has hung in the lobby of the Vale Council’s Planning Offices in the Barry Docks Building – the same building where the Inspector is holding the Deposit LDP Hearings.
The proposed route of the Dinas Powys by-pass from over 50 years ago. The previous Conservative administration in the Vale Council adopted the Unitary Development Plan (UDP) 1996-2011 and it supported the purpose of a by-pass.
In 2011, the new Labour controlled Vale Council started work on a Local Development Plan (LDP) to replace the UDP. In order to inform their LDP, the Council commissioned various surveys and reports including a Highway Impact Assessment (HIA). But when their draft LDP was produced it failed to contain the vital infrastructure for the planned 10,000 house that the HIA indicated would be needed to avoid even worse congestion.
Cllr Neil Moore, Labour leader of the Council said in 2012: “It is imperative that the final plan contains the right mix of development for the Vale and that it is fully supported by the necessary infrastructure.”
Cllr Lis Burnett, now Deputy Leader of the council said then: “The infrastructure was not bottomed out which led to concerns about the road network and air quality.”
Rob Thomas, then the council’s director of development services, and now its Managing Director said: “The potential for new highway corridors will have to be addressed, along with public transport.”
He added that “pinch points” in the existing road network would also be investigated and the housing developments could be phased in as improvements were made.
Five years on their new plan retains proposals for 10,000 houses but scraps the major infrastructure need of the Dinas Powys by-pass.
The Draft LDP offered for consultation in 2013 proposed dealing with the worsening traffic congestion identified and predicted in the HIA along the Barry – Cardiff corridor, with a policy of ‘modal shift’ to encourage less car use.
Councillors have said they want to encourage other forms of transport like walking and cycling with a single extra path between Cardiff and Barry. They also propose Park and Ride schemes at Barry Dock station and at Cosmeston Park but nothing in Dinas Powys. They talk about problems at various junctions including the Merrie Harrier and Baron’s Court but propose no actual improvement.
This suggestion for the Merrie Harrier has been put forward by our group to stimulate discussion and to show that improvement is possible.
In answer to a question from Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew R.T.Davies put in the Chamber in October 2016 Minister Ken Skates AM, triggered the new study, as not even minor improvements identified in the LDP are indicated for action.
An LDP Deposit Plan including the deletions and additions proposed to the Council by the Inspector following the initial Hearings was published in September 2016. But this did not include the by-pass. The final hearings on the Deposit Plan are at the end of January 2017. But no new submissions will be heard despite the Minister’s request for a further study and offer of funding.
The Welsh Government appointed Independent Inspector is expected to publish his findings in mid-April. This may or may not instruct the Council to change some parts of the LDP before it is adopted.