Cardiff Council has reached a nadir, even by its own standards. This time, Cardiff Council planning committee sanctioned the felling of mature trees within the park, effectively prioritising the needs of the developer – who wanted a view for his new apartment block – over the health, wellbeing and pleasure of the community.
Cardiff Council has a poor grasp of its statutory obligations to maintain and enhance biodiversity under Section 6 of the Environment Wales (2016) Act). And, despite declaring a Climate Emergency in March 2019, it also fails to understand that trees are our frontline defence against a warming climate.
Furthermore, conservation red-listed song and mistle thrushes rely on mature trees for nesting sites and winter refuge, now these mature trees are gone.
Our colleague, and fellow tree campaigner, Katherine Jones, a key voice in the Suffolk House campaign, has also unearthed worrying discrepancies relating to the procedures stated in the planning permission document and the developer’s actions.
Katherine’s concerns are outlined below in the text of a message she sent on Monday 8 June.
“I write to voice my concerns about the tree felling procedures that have happened today [8 June] in Llandaff Fields.
There are a number of aspects which relate to the discrepancy between the arboricultural report and what has actually happened. I would like a written response to all of the following points:
1. Planning permission was granted with the condition that the works should be carried out in accordance with the Arboricultural Method Statement:
Last year we demanded better protection for mature trees in planning procedure by asking a public question at full council. Our request was agreed to by the cabinet member for Culture and Leisure, but at a meeting in January 2020, our demands for action not words were met with obfuscation by the Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, and the head of planning.
It is time for the public to give voice to its sense of outrage, or such travesties will continue unabated.
Here is the full planning report, which was accepted by the planning committee. It includes the planning conditions referred to above: