Cardiff Civic Society has launched an ambitious manifesto before the 2021 Senedd elections.
Among the demands are the following:
*Better protection of our green spaces – especially as Cardiff only has 8.04 per cent publicly available green space, compared to 15.38 in Birmingham. The manifesto also refers to the inequality of access to green space – an issue highlighted by the pandemic.
*Planning. Creating a fairer planning system where communities have equal rights to developers. For example, developers have backroom access to the local authority planning process, which communities don’t. Communities have no right to appeal a poor planning decision, while developers enjoy this right.
*Strengthening the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and the Environment Wales (2016) Act, so that they have great power on the ground rather than being fine words on paper.
*Giving the biodiversity crisis equal status with the climate emergency. The 2019 State of Nature report states that Wales is one of the most nature impoverished countries in Europe. Many species are at risk of extinction
*Design buildings future generations can be proud of
*Set up Community Land Trusts so that ordinary people can manage assets they love.
Nerys Lloyd-Pierce, chair of Cardiff Civic Society says,
“Many of the city’s ills go back to our deeply flawed planning processes. Developers have free rein, resulting in the loss of many buildings of cultural and historical significance, and the loss of mature trees and green space. The playing field needs to be levelled to give communities a sporting chance of defending their neighbourhood from the venality of developers.”
“We are also calling for a democractically elected chair of planning committee, to help ensure a fairer process, and to ensure communities’ voices are heard.”
*The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and the Environment Wales (2016) Act should provide some protection from the above, however, laudable though these pieces of legislation are in principle, in practice they are failing. Campaigns throughout the city – Caedelyn Park, the Northern Meadows, Sanatorium Park, Danescourt Woods to name but a few – illustrate how much people cherish their green spaces, and these must be protected.”