“If it wasn’t so upsetting it would be laughable” – residents’ despair as #Cardiff council allow fenced pitch on #SanatoriumPark

By Llio Elgar, a supporter of the Sanatorium Park campaign

Cardiff Council is proposing to build a fenced in football pitch on Sanatorium Park. They began building it in the incorrect corner of the park but stopped. It’s now being taken down but the land remains fenced in for two months as the grass grows back and damage rectified etc. According to the council the development is allowed under ‘permissible development ‘, which is why no one was informed. This is a green field site, and we have lost endless green field adjoining sites so we consider this critical. 

No one was consulted nor informed as building began in the first week of lockdown, causing significant stress for Lansdown Gardens residents and all of us in Canton and Riverside who use the park. We suspect that the Education Department began building on Parks Department land without involving them so had to make good their error.

Residents of The Mill housing estate have now been told that it will be built next to them and Treganna School, at the other end of the park. Again there has been no consultation, no impact assessments. We see no evidence of the Future Generations legislation being considered.

We have been told that it would be temporary, there for two years. Then we have been told that it will be permanent for Canton Liberal Football Club (or for Treganna school) despite ‘state of the art facilities being built within the £60 million Fitzalan development, paid for by the Welsh Government.

Not only does this affect people’s well-being, having a safe, free space to breathe in, but affects wildlife and local biodiversity. It is also on a flood plain and can be several meters under water, so a fairly stupid place to put a pitch. I have children in Treganna, one of which loves football. Fencing in this field will not benefit her but the meadow does, and is fantastic for play and for ad-hoc social interaction and integration.

Following protests, campaign, emailing etc. the council responded. However, they have not addressed the issues raised or given full information about the proposal. We don’t know whether will there be floodlighting, changing rooms, a pit, parking etc.

The council claim that they had consulted local people, but the date given (2011) pre dates the development of two housing estates alongside the park. They couldn’t have been consulted. If it wasn’t so upsetting it would be laughable.

For more information follow the Sanatorium Park Supporters Group on Facebook or #sanatoriumpark on Twitter

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