Cardiff Council’s ten-year plan for the city – the Replacement Local Development Plan (RLDP) – will shape the city we love irrevocably. We are also at the tipping point for issues such as the Climate Emergency and the Biodiversity Crisis.
NOW is the time to act if we, the citizens, are to have a say in the outcome.
If Cardiff is to remain an attractive place to live, if people and nature are to thrive, if communities are to have equal status with developers, if social injustice is to be addressed effectively, then YOUR contribution to the LDP is vital.
The consultation documents – Draft Vision, Issues and Objectives and Draft Integrated Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report are online at https://www.cardiffldp.co.uk/consultation/ (scroll down the webpage a bit).
You do not have to complete the online survey provided (the consultation room). You can email the team responsible for the plan at LDP@cardiff.gov.uk before July 23 – even if it’s just a one liner.
Issues you might like to consider including in your response
Unless drastic action is taken, given rising sea levels and climate change induced downpours, thousands of homes in Cardiff could be under water within three decades. This could mean your home will be uninhabitable.
Nature in crisis
This is the age of extinction, and biodiversity has never been more threatened. One in six species in Wales are under threat. Human survival depends on biodiversity. Pollinators like butterflies and bumble bees; birds such as swifts and swallows; bats; hedgehogs and otters – all need a home in our city. This includes protecting habitat and creating new habitat; provision of wildlife corridors in existing streets and new builds, hedgehog highways, bird and bat nesting and roosting boxes, wildlife friendly planting and less mowing.
Traffic and transport
Traffic-related nitrogen oxide (N0x pollution) and particulate pollution from vehicle tyres, brakes etc combine to give the UK the highest asthma-related deaths in children in Europe. Electric vehicles do not address the issue of particulate pollution, which is extremely hard to shift from the lungs.
If people are to leave their cars at home, we need to have efficient public transport, and cycleways need to be on roads, not driven through parks, so that people can travel safely. A liveable city also needs to give more than a cursory nod to pedestrians.
Developers are currently allowed to get away without including affordable housing in their developments, and Cardiff Council fails to implement its own policies to curb the greed of developers. The new LDP can address this inequality.
Diversity and inequalities
The RLDP must address diverse needs. For example, there is no mention of race equality, despite all the evidence that this is significant for housing or health.
Creation of community land trusts
Enabling local people to protect the things they cherish in their neighbourhood.
Twenty minute neighbourhoods and the city centre
Where all the facilities citizens need are within a 20-minute walk. A luxury less well-heeled neighbourhoods are denied.
Re-purposing the city centre and its empty shops and offices in a post-Covid world.
Protection of green space, and creation of green space, for the health and well-being of all. Cities such as Birmingham and Nottingham have twice as much per capita public open space as Cardiff – and they are being imaginative in creating more parks and wildlife areas. Turning a disused shopping centre into a park and wetland for example.
Inequality of green space. It’s a myth that Cardiff is a green city. Many areas of the city have well below UK average access to green space. This inequality was highlighted by the pandemic.
Protecting the city’s heritage
Iconic buildings such as the neglected Coal Exchange, and much-loved local landmarks that tend to fall to development, such as Guildford Terrace, where only the facades remain, need to be valued in the new LDP.
The regional context
Cardiff’s future cannot be determined without taking a wider view across the region, which opens up options for responding to matters like flooding, housing and transport. This is barely mentioned in the RLDP consultation paper.
Cardiff Civic Society, June 2021
You can find more information from us about the Replacement LDP and the issues we think are important for the future of our city on our blog https://cardiffcivicsociety.blog/ or twitter @CardiffCivicSoc