Risk of confusion as council due to launch TWO huge consultations of the future of the city

‘Greener, Fairer, Stronger’ launch set to clash with the all important ten year local development plan (LDP)

Cardiff Civic Society has written an open letter to the leader and deputy leader of Cardiff Council.

Dear Cllrs Thomas and Merry
Cardiff Civic Society has noted the papers to be considered at the next Cabinet meeting and has the following comments to make – 

At present, it isn’t clear where we are in relation to the COVID pandemic – the end, middle or even just the start. It therefore seems premature to be issuing a consultation document – Greener, Fairer, Stronger – on the way forward for Cardiff. We suggest that this should only be done once the pandemic situation has stabilised and more is understood about the longer term effects of the pandemic on society.

The Council has already announced the Local Development Plan (LDP) review timetable. It would make sense for Greener, Fairer, Stronger and the Canal Quarter development to be subsumed into the LDP review. Otherwise, these initiatives will partially constrain the review’s outcome. We are concerned at the impact of these consultations on the timing of the LDP consultation.  Please confirm that these will be published this month as planned.

Running more than one consultation on the future of Cardiff (the LDP and Greener, Fairer, Stronger) may well engender confusion amongst the public.

Greener, Fairer, Stronger needs further consideration before it is released for consultation. Many of the assumptions on which it is based are speculative and optimistic – e.g. the demand for office space. This is despite the report itself including estimates of the likely fall in demand for both office and retail. Cardiff already has a surplus of both retail and office accommodation, as well as also having several major developments in progress – e.g. the Brains Brewery site. We think there needs to be further detail in the document about how existing surplus retail and office space can be repurposed. It is also in part contradictory, acknowledging the importance of localities and the 15-min neighbourhood concept on the one hand, while also making the case for the importance of encouraging people into the city centre and accelerating the completion of the central businessdistrict to support continued jobs growth. The same can be said of both promoting active travel whilst also considering increasing car parking within the city.

Finally, we suggest that consultation documents need to have a clear and succinct summary at the start of the document to aid understanding and facilitate engagement.

Yours sincerely,

Cardiff Civic Society

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