Look what has happened to our beautiful park
Apr 23 2009 by Martin Shipton, South Wales Echo Bute Park
CAMPAIGNERS against further development within Bute Park have accused Cardiff Council of planning to erect a horticultural building that will look like a prison complex.
The claim by the Bute Parks Alliance pressure group coincides with the release of maps showing changes to the Grade I-listed park since 1942.
Thousands of people have signed a petition protesting against plans to build a new road access and bridge into the park, which the council maintains will improve safety.
Nervousness about the degree of public concern over the scheme is shown in a note by Liberal Democrat AM Jenny Randerson to one of her staff that was inadvertently sent on to the Bute Parks Alliance. The note from Mrs Randerson acknowledges that points made by the campaigners “seem very damning”, although she goes on to say that the scheme got planning permission.
Voicing fresh concerns about a planned horticultural building in the park, Nerys Lloyd-Pierce of Bute Parks Alliance said: “The plans for the nursery are grim. Apart from the fact that the nursery itself will look like a prison complex, there will be 400 square metres of paving around the Stuttgart Garden, on what is currently grass, and there is a tarmac path planned through the lawns to meet the T Junction where the bridge enters the park.
“This area of the park will be changed beyond recognition as its current seclusion and peace will be ruined.
“Comparing the two maps shows how the park given to the city by the Marquess of Bute has suffered encroachment over decades,”
The council’s executive member for Sport, Leisure & Culture, Councillor Nigel Howells, said: “The new nursery training centre, which was granted planning consent in October 2008, will provide an exciting facility to house a new education programme for both school and community use. This will support and develop current educational initiatives available at Cardiff Castle.
“The new development is sited discretely within the existing complex and will feature new landscaping improvements, including the replacement of an existing steel security fence and overgrown conifer hedgerows with rose trellised garden walls.
“The planning application was supported by CADW and was welcomed by planning officers, as it is recognised as being ‘sympathetic to the parkland setting’. Not all the additional paths on the planning application will be required now planning approval for the Bute Park access bridge has been granted.”
By Nick Clegg Online
Nick & Kirsty joined Cardiff Councillor Nigel Howells and Jenny Randerson AM at the RHS Cardiff Flower show in Bute Park. Nick visited the sanctuary garden, which highlights the plight of asylum seekers in Cardiff and the UK as a whole. ...
Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal... - http://www.nickclegg.com/
Film star Rhys backs fight to block bridge
Apr 9 2009 by Martin Shipton, South Wales Echo
HOLLYWOOD star Matthew Rhys has backed a campaign calling an immediate halt to an “inappropriate and intrusive development” in Cardiff’s Bute Park.
The Cardiff-born actor, star of hit US show Brothers and Sisters, has spoken out against plans to build a new bridge and articulated lorry access into the Grade I listed park in the city centre.
Cardiff council says the new measures aim to improve access for lorries heading to the city’s nurseries and major events in Coopers Field. But Bute Parks Alliance, a group formed in January, strongly opposes the plans. And as well as former Ysgol Glantaf pupil Rhys, Welsh Hollywood directors Chris Monger and Sara Sugarman have also backed the campaigners.
Monger directed The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain, while Sugarman directed Valleys-based comedy Very Annie Mary.
Rhys and Monger have led the Los Angeles-based thespian community in supporting Bute Parks Alliance, saying: “We are disturbed and alarmed by Cardiff council’s plans to build an access bridge and drive a two-lane roadway through one of the loveliest areas of Bute Park. Very few cities, and fewer capital cities, are endowed with parkland that allows a pedestrian to walk from their centres to their suburbs. Cardiff, however, enjoys such a fantastic luxury with almost uninterrupted parks running out from Cardiff Castle to Llandaff Cathedral. These parks are not owned just by the people of Cardiff, but by the entire Welsh population since Cardiff is, after all, the capital for all of us.
“Moreover, this parkland – an asset to the city of incomparable historic, visual and amenity value – is not owned, but entrusted to each generation to pass on to the next.”
Bute Parks Alliance is calling for a moratorium on all development in Bute Park, Llandaff Fields, Pontcanna Fields and Sophia Gardens – until a coherent strategy for their protection has been devised. Cardiff council maintains that the building of the bridge and road into Bute Park will improve safety for pedestrians and will not damage the park’s attractiveness.