One of the most important issues facing the Caerphilly Borough is the future shape of housing development.
A few weeks ago the public consultation on the local authority’s Local Development Plan (LDP) was formally concluded and the Borough Council will now consider the many hundreds of public responses and a number of petitions. Amongst those responses are my own detailed observations.
My submission argues that while there is a need for housing development in the borough, the LDP wrongly suggests that a large number of homes ought to be built around Caerphilly town and to its east, rather than in the northern part of the borough.
My objection to this is based on a number of arguments. Firstly, the fact that around Caerphilly there is some of the most beautiful countryside in the Rhymney Valley. This countryside must be preserved.
Secondly, there is a lack of infrastructure to support the construction of thousands of new homes in the so-called Caerphilly Connections Corridor. And thirdly, there ought to be a balanced development of the borough with far more houses being built on brownfield sites in the top part of the Rhymney Valley. This is an important point because the LDP is based on an assumption that the northern Rhymney Valley will become increasingly depopulated with more and more people moving to live in the southern half of the Valley. In my opinion, the Valley lines ought to be electrified so that living in the upper Rhymney Valley and working in Cardiff becomes a really attractive option.
Many people have expressed concern about the LDP. Most of those who have objected to its various proposals neither belong to nor support any political party. It is therefore wrong to try to crudely ‘politicise’ this issue. I, for one, am prepared to work with everyone who shares my concern about the LDP, whatever their political affiliations. Let’s all speak with one voice. Let’s all pull together on this issue so that the LDP is thoroughly re-written and our countryside protected.