Cardiff Civic Society has been approached by a number of concerned residents about the redevelopment of the Channel View estate.
Their concerns include.
*Loss of community. Some homes will be demolished and the occupants rehoused. However, there is no guarantee that they will be re-housed in Grangetown, nor that they will be able to return to the estate once refurbishment is complete. Many of the residents have lived in their houses for decades.
*Concerns about like-for-like replacements. Some occupants of three-bedroom homes have been informed they will only be eligible for two-bedroom properties following redevelopment, meaning that children will have to share bedrooms.
*Many residents are home-owners. They have expressed concern that upon completion of the development, they will be unable to afford to return to an equivalent property. The council’s offer of providing a shared equity option has not reassured home-owners.
*Loss of green space on The Marl. Residents have expressed concerns about the loss of green space – approx. 7500m2. Despite the local authority’s assurances that there will be additional green space provided, this is only 4500m2 (approx.). Resulting in a net loss of open space in a city that only has 8.04 per cent publicly accessible green space (compared to 15.58 per cent in Birmingham).
Several residents have expressed concern about the damage to wildlife if this green space it taken away. It should be pointed out that the local authority has a legal obligation to protect and enhance biodiversity.
*Time-frame. The council has not set out a coherent time-frame for the development to take place. Residents need clarity on this. When, for instance, will the council be applying for outline planning permission?
Cardiff Civic Society understands the need for increased social housing, however the understandable fears of existing householders have not been dealt with sensitively. Consultation, despite the council’s protestations to the contrary, does not appear to have been meaningful. There needs to be a clear timetable of further consultation dates, and a coherent construction timetable.
The proposed work also needs to be phased to ensure minimum disruption to current residents, and allow them to move either directly from their existing homes to new ones, or with the shortest possible delay.
It is important that the local authority to help ensure that residents’ rights are upheld.