Thursday, 19 February 2009

corrupt Cllrs vote for car park in park for sky tv

Outdoor games area in Sophia Gardens will make way for extra parking spaces
Feb 19 2009 by Gavin O'Connor, South Wales Echo

Outdoor games area in Sophia Gardens will make way for extra parking spaces

CAMPAIGNERS have lost their battle to preserve green space and sports facilities in a section of historic city parkland.

Members of Cardiff council’s planning committee last night voted in favour of extending the car park outside the Welsh Institute of Sport in Sophia Gardens.

The decision means the Grade II listed park’s multi-purpose sports area will be lost at the expense of more spaces for vehicles driving into the Cathedral Road conservation area.

One thousand objectors signed a petition and four members of the planning committee were persuaded by their arguments.

But six members voted in the scheme at a packed meeting held at City Hall yesterday.

The development will see 161 car park spaces boosted to 235 – but less than the initial intention of 252 spaces.

Simon Warder, planning director for developers RPS, on behalf of Cardiff Council, said the project would solve the issues related to “casual parking” and have a positive impact.

“There are many other recreation facilities close by, including the multi-use games area in Canton,” he said. Greg Butterworth, 40, of Cathedral Road, addressed the committee and spoke of his disgust at what the approved outcome would mean.

“The council’s special projects department is supposed to serve the people of Cardiff,” he said. “This planning application and the issues around it remain a disgrace.”

The extra space would cater for TV vehicles visiting nearby sporting events such as the upcoming Ashes fixture at Glamorgan Cricket Club’s Swalec Stadium.

Pat Mckenna, of Pontcanna, also spoke on behalf of residents against the plans and said the historic features of the park were suffering “gradual destruction”.

She said: “The bribe of seven new lime trees being planted should not buy this application.

“Far from being preserved, the parklands are being ravaged by development.”

However, committee member, Coun Keith Hyde, who changed his mind to cast a positive vote for the development, said: “We are not really doing a lot other than tidying up the car park. This revised scheme is much better.”

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