On Thursday 9th September the proposed Taff Vale Development went before RCT's Planning Committee.
It got planning permission and although Plaid Cymru support the investment in Pontypridd, Heledd Fychan the Plaid Cymru Councillor for the Town spoke at the meeting to express some of the concerns of residents, so they are on record:
This is what Heledd said:
Many don't believe it will actually happen, hence why only I was there to speak at the meeting. Huge amount of scepticism means that people haven't really engaged with the plans.
- Design: Concern that it's not sensitive enough to the historic environment, particularly the old bridge and museum. Danger the office buildings are not iconic enough and will look outdated in twenty years time.
- Parking: only 70 additional car spaces though we're told there will be over a thousand jobs. Parking already an issue in Pontypridd and keeps people out of the town. It's important this isn't overlooked. Also - this can't lead to the development of a car park in Ynysangharad park when development opens, and parking is an issue unless solutions are found now. Residents right to be concerned about reference in the plans to a new pedestrian bridge connecting the development. We need an absolute commitment that this won't be linking to a car park.
- Development needs to be part of a wider vision for Pontypridd and tie in to other developments such as the YMCA. What will happen to the old library building? Why is there a gym as part of the plans for this site and the YMCA? Lots of empty properties/ offices in Pontypridd - how will this help?
- Just because this is better than what we currently have doesn't mean we have to accept it without asking questions in order to ensure it's the best plan for Pontypridd. We have the opportunity to do something outstanding and a holsitic view needs to be taken so the whole of the town is regenerated as the Gateway to the Valleys.
These are points I will continue to raise as the development progresses so if you have any comments please let me know so that I can feedback.