Saturday, 31 January 2009

Alliance to protect Bute Park formed

At the Bute Park meeting on 27th Jan we took a decision to set up a campaigning organisation called the Bute Parks Alliance with the initial aim of getting:

A moratorium on all development in the historic central parklands ( Bute Park , Sophia Gardens , Pontcanna Fields and Llandaff Fields) until there is a publicly agreed policy on their future use

Alliance to protect Bute Park formed Echo

AN OFFICIAL campaign group has been launched to oppose controversial building plans in a landmark city park. About 40 Cardiff residents have voted in favour of forming the Bute Parks Alliance – a lobby group which plans to protest and petition against council proposals to expand roadways through the city centre ground and build a £1.4m lorry bridge in its vicinity.

The group, which has existed informally for about a year, also hopes to attract a big name celebrity backer to heighten its profile, and to make use of lawyers and local planning specialists who are sympathetic to its cause.

Professor Kevin Morgan, who organised the meeting, said: “My own personal view is that we cannot do anything about these things until we have a strategy.

“People can sign up to a group and state the skills they have to offer.

“That is one of the key things I think we hope to come out of this.”

If given the go-ahead, the proposed scheme of improvements would run alongside a £3.6m lottery-funded project to restore features in the Grade I-listed park and improve public access.

Work could start later this year with no public consultation, which the Cardiff University planning academic claimed would cause “degradation” of the Victorian green space.

As well as making a firm decision to launch the alliance with immediate effect, residents at the meeting in Cardiff University’s Glamorgan Building on Tuesday night voted resoundingly in favour of establishing seven sub-action groups.

These include lobby and press committees, an internet team and a research and planning division.

Lecturer and member of the newly formed group Gill Boden also put forward a proposal to attract support from high-profile Welsh figures.

“Celebrities sell things, and we should get their names,” she told fellow members.

The campaigners, who are mainly from Cathays and Pontcanna, have been trying to force Cardiff council to reconsider its plans, as they believe the changes could accelerate “long-running and incremental” erosion of the park.

The council has also attracted criticism in the Echo letters pages.

Many readers fear the plans are aimed at raising council revenue by staging extra events or privatising the nurseries.

But Nigel Howells, city councillor and executive member for sport, culture and leisure, said the new road was the only way lorries could be diverted away from North Gate, close to the castle.

He said the road would result in improved access for walkers, which in turn would fulfil the Heritage Lottery Fund’s aim of increasing public access.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Tree felling at College of Music BUTE PARK prior to development consent

Help by emailing the Cardiff council leader to save these trees by Writing to the leader of cardiff council
copy in the local paper -,,

If anyone would like to join me protesting at the site as soon as they prepare to start work. email me at annegre@aol.comi

The picture is of the site of tree felling in listed BUTE PARK that was due to ONE 'diseased' TREE being chopped down!

Tree felling at College of Music BUTE PARK prior to development consent

Work is due to start on cutting down trees this afternoon and marking other trees for felling. Yet pre-conditions on the development of the new College auditorium have not been met which prevents work at this time.

Also disposal of the area of park for the Auditorium development agreed by the Council/Cabinet is still subject to legal procedures including public consultation

The developers wanted to get the trees down before the nesting season, erecting a compound this week and today starting tree felling. The Tree Officer had agreed (issued a S211 consent), but as tree felling amounts to starting work on the development, the pre-conditions do not allow it.

If consultation on disposal of bits of the Park is meaningful, it could be turned down and the whole project be stopped, yet the park is desecrated with many wrongly trees lost. The Council should enforce the rules and stop the premature tree felling.

The council says "However not all the trees are located on the Council’s land – some are located on the College site, mainly along the North Road frontage. It is estimated that 19 trees will be lost on the Council’s open space. Only 1 was considered to be category A (the most desirable to retain) with the remainder either categories B, C or R (the latter being desirable to be removed because of disease or other factors). Those trees on the Council’s land are mainly sycamore and not therefore of rarity value. However it is acknowledged that as mature trees they make a significant contribution to the wooded screening along the east side of the Park, and from North Road."

No concern or checks has been made for wildlife or hibernating bats or animals.

Write to the leader of cardiff council - tell him also that you will not vote lib dem for people who destroy the environment,
copy in the local paper -,,

One diseased tree according to rodney Berman was removed here!

The college itself was built on part of the park and it is this chipping away that is destroying the park. The land concerned extends to approximately 1814 sq. metres (0.18
hectares or 0.45 acres) some 43 trees will be removed as a result of the proposals.

At its meeting on 6 November 2008 the Executive resolved to grant a peppercorn lease of Council land to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama for the purpose of an extension to the College to house a new Concert Hall and Theatre (Min No. 69).
That land forms part of Bute Park Public Open Space

No concern or checks has been made for wildlife or hibernating bats or animals.

facebook group
whole album here

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Save the trees being chopped down at college of music

The Cabinet over-rode objections and approved the disposal of this
corner of the Park to the College on 15th January. If its reasons
... improving the provision of higher education in Cardiff, and ... support for the arts
don't meet the criteria of the Bute bequest and covenant, someone might still stop it.
So objecting to the tree felling is justified just if you think the council should stick to rules.

Cardiff council Planning give permission for new building at school of music on park land
having 'consulted' on the qt dismissing objections to give part of BUTE PARK away or for a peppercorn rent to the school of music.

Tree felling at College of Music prior to development consent

I understand from the Tree Officer Tony Lovelock that all the pre-conditions on the development of the new College auditorium have not been discharged. Nevertheless, work started on cutting down trees this afternoon and marking other trees for felling. The S211 order that allows the tree felling does not allow any works to carry out the plans.

council has not confirmed that
# there are pre-conditions that still remain to be fulfilled before any work under the planning consent can be started

# that disposal of the area of park for the development agreed by the Council/Cabinet is still subject to legal procedures including public consultation

# that the felling of trees required to carry out the planning permission (and not for specific aboriculture reasons) amounts to starting work.

# that such tree felling under a S211 consent still amounts to starting work on the development under the consent.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Cardiff coun to destroy Rumney Park

Prior to the Rumney and Llanrumney wards Referendum Feb 17th. ( The
Councils wish to destroy The Historic Rumney Recreational Park inc. of
200 mature trees )

There is a PUBLIC MEETING TUESDAY FEB. 3RD. At 7.30pm The British
Legion, British Legion Drive Rumney, Cardiff

I live in Canton and my family still opposite the park in Rumney.

It was not that long ago I marched alongside Clr.Neil McEnvoy to stop a
roadway from Western Ave - town going through as a link for the Cricket
boss, he is now the gentleman who has voted to destroy the only parkland
in Cardiff East.
Every trick in the book has been pilled by the council........changing
venues/times/dates of meeting with the public.....the Scrutiny Meeting
where told that over 200 residents would be in attendance, so they
booked a small room and tried to block RREELS entry as a matter of
health and safety....but we did gain entry to the meeting in the end.

The residents action group Rreel has and so doing a magnificent job and
has taken the fight to Mr Berman. We started our campaign in the summer
of 2007 and is presently gaining mass momentum with a healthy purse.

I am horrified what I am reading about the threat to Bute Park

Case against the lorry roads in Bute Park

Saturday, 24 January 2009


Special Public Organising meeting to help stop lorry-roads in Bute Park  
 with Prof. Kevin Morgan
TUES 27 January @ 6pm Glamorgan Committee rooms  Glamorgan Building, Cathays Park
Help develop campaign strategy
Call on Cdf  Council to nullify the Planning Consent, on account of unlawful participation by Cllr Nigel Howells 
Call on the Parks Scrutiny Committee to require a Sustainability Assessment before any funds are approved.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Bute park saved from car park fate

CADW back car park plan - is it time to ask is CADW fit for purpose?

Historic park saved from car park fate
Jan 15 2009 by Andrew Dagnell, South Wales Echo

A PLAN to convert historic parklands in the heart of the capital into a car park is to be blocked by councillors.
Members of the city’s planning committee yesterday voted against plans by Cardiff council’s special projects department to tarmac a grassed area in Sophia Gardens next to the Welsh Institute of Sport. But they deferred a final decision until the committee’s next meeting.
The planning application aimed to create 207 parking spaces – 58 of which would be used up to 12 times a year to accommodate TV vehicles filming sports matches.

It also sought approval to remove the Grade II listed park’s multi-purpose sports tarmac as well as removal of a substantial of shrubbery. Planning officers had recommended the scheme for approval, however it was met with opposition by Councillor Gwenllian Lansdown, who said the plans were not in keeping with the park’s historic status.

She warned: “This would be the end of Sophia Gardens as we know it.
“This is a well-used sports area enjoyed by local residents and others. No plans are made to replace it therefore constituting an unacceptable loss of public open space.
“This application falls within a conservation area and the introduction of more car parking would jeopardise its status as historic parkland.”

Welsh heritage body Cadw had backed the plans, saying that the suggested changes to the park, which is within the Cathedral Road conservation area, “would be beneficial to the character of the park” and “would be an enhancement of the park’s quality and character”.

A Freedom of Information request by a homeowner living in the area has revealed that if the plans were given the go-ahead the project would be funded by Glamorgan County Cricket Club.
However, this was blasted by Councillor Richard Foley who said he felt the plans were being allowed to pass through the backdoor. He said: “I abhor Cadw’s response. I find this application extremely uncomfortable, and we would not permit it if it was an external application.”

Speaking after the meeting, Cathedral Road resident Greg Butterworth, 40, said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the win – it’s a massive success for us over the council and the cricket club.
“The plan would have destroyed the surrounding environment and the area that we live in.”

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Cllr Howells - Articulated lorries best for park

Park – Echo 10th Jan 2009

“Over my dead body will anything bad happen to that park ”- plans in best interest of city” says leisure chief!

Coun Howells “What we are doing is in the best interests of Bute Park and will preserve what is one of the best examples of Victorian Parkland in the UK”.

Despite a letter from an assembly civil servant from writing on behalf of heritage minister heritage Alun Ffred Jones and calling for more consultation Coun Howells said that the council had no plans for further consultation nad the heritage lottery fund was not taking any interest in the work to the road or the lorry bridge.

We challenge Cllr Howells to attend a public meeting. Give us a chance to discuss it with you, he couldn't find the time to attend the last public meeting.

Bute Park group – join for discussion and documents

Tell him what you think!,
journalist who wrote the article,
write to echo
write to the Heritage lottery fund,

It will be over our dead bodies that Cllr Howells scars and destroys Bute Park and its landscape by building this ugly raised 4 metre wide roads with dangerous 2 metre long 1 in 5 slopes on either sidethrough Bute Park. It is extremely arrogant of Cllr Howells to state that he knows best. He has been corrupt in

1. Failing to ensure that the Bute Park new development was properly assessed for sustainability prior to implementation as in the Park & Green Space Strategy

2. Failing to consider a decision to limit the size of lorries in the Park as requested from Cllr Simon Wakefield).
3. Speaking at the planning meeting purely advocating the project without claiming to representing his electors’ views, and did not declare a prejudicial ‘interest’.

Cllr Nigel Howells, Exec member has the scheme in his portfolio
4. Reports from council officers were 'sexed down' to minimise the impact.
The Highways “Options Appraisal” was altered (between the January and August versions) to support the Parks’ claim of the present situation being ‘unsafe’ and the Project being ‘essential

There must be a comprehensive programme of public consultation on the proposed plans to restore the Park and I challenge Cllr Howells to give us a time he can attend a public meeting to give people the chance to answer these question and others.