Save Bute Park & Stop the ROAD building

Stop the Road through Bute Park - No to planning permission - they are at it again - plans gone in AGAIN!! see here

Stop the destruction of Bute Park
Amended Plans at the City Hall, ref. 07/02649/C
we objected by 17 March for Planning Cttee on 19 March.

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The Council are planning to put a new access bridge into Bute Park and a ROAD through the park - this is immediately opposite the end of Corbett Road (ie off North Road and opposite Optometry). In fact these are plans that will change the face of the park as we know it - the bridge is to be 9 metres wide! - this is to let 2 articulated lorries pass each other - a new, very wide road then drops over the feeder canal and down into the park near the nursery. Many trees will be removed - amazingly a large number have already been removed without any planning permission approved - you can see the gash in the tree line.

Have you seen the destruction, on the pretence of taking down a diseased tree! I Hope you are appalled. Are the Council officers covering up this unlawful action BEFORE planning permission?
Bute Park's designer and planer, Andrew Pettigrew, was one of the most important park designers of the second half of the nineteenth century, andthe open, flowing informal design allowed a smooth transition from a private pleasure ground to a public park. Much of the Victorian planting, particularly of ornamental trees, survives but are the trees dsafe in Cardiff Councils hands?
Stop the destruction of Bute Park
Please read the petition which has 1,749 signatures opposing these plans
more info on believe that the council is trying to rush the decision, when information on which trees are to be demolished, lopped or re-located is still awaited, when the custodians of the Memorial trees have not been notified. And when the council haven't followed policy for a cycling audit of proposed schemes (especially necessary for one affecting the national Taff Trail route.) There has been no proper consultation of the actual final plan.
  • The over-sized scheme is to take artics into the Park, to the Nursery, and coaches of children to the Study Centre. Neither should be allowed.
  • clearing all trees from North Road for the intended route in advance of permission is a disgrace; I hear the Head of Planning (Dev Control) took it up but is being blocked at chief officer level. No notification let alone consultation of the Conservation Officer and Tree officer took place. Why are the Cllrs allowing this blatant flouting of planning law?
  • The case officer has said that there will be a "huge" impact to the aboretum at the rear of the Nursery, driving a swathe through Memorial trees etc through a new entrance. But in his report he had to write "siginificant" impact, because that's what the Parks rep says and there huge political pressure to get it through.
  • improvements to the existing accesses at North Lodge (rear of Castle) and Blackweir (new bridge over feeder canal) would suffice at much lower cost. The case officer has argued for these, but has had to report the promoters' objections as over-riding rather than him judging a balance between environmental impact and accommodating the largest lorries even in convoy.

On the petition an anon .. No. 337 intervention on the petition "anonymous" purports to give "real information", quoting from the kind of twisted document that promoters write to support
grandiose schemes. That they were thinking to take in 700 cavavans to Eisteddfod parking (now off the agenda) shows their crass insentsitivity to our peaceful arboretum.

The plans show a 9-metre wide bridge and 4-metre roadways (with passing verge of reinforced turf) designed to take articulated lorries. No-one in their right minds would say this is minimal impact on a Historic Park.

The Royal Horticultural Society and Heritage Lottery fund want improved access - and the aim to separate pedestrians from the occasional lorries to events can readily be achieved at much lower cost (than £1.4 million!) and far less damage to the Park and arboretum.

The present bridges are not strong enough for the largest lorries - okay, we can't have those in the Park. The Nursery say an articulated lorry did bring bedding plants from the Netherlands. In future when the Nursery purchases plants, let them instruct the suppliers about acceptable size and weight limits.

Why is the Council so insensitive to the historic Park and why do they refuse alternatives?

Alternative suggestions
# creating a separate pedestrian path from the roadway behind the Castle, with a separate pedestrian bridge over the canal/moat

# improved entrance and new bridge over the feeder canal at Blackweir ambulance station; there is a design already in the plans, impacting a little on the playing field

# no "public vehicle access" to the Nursery Study Centre - meaning coaches and minibuses of school children - park on North Road and let them walk!

What is disgraceful is that Council officers have gone ahead with cutting down trees (some in the wrong place) and earthworks in a Conservation Area and historic park without any planning approval. At least it shows vividly the kind of damage that insensitive officialdom can do.

Note also Cyclists objections

We point out this would become a significant route for cyclists, as the cut-through the Park over the Millennium Bridge to and from the University and other offices is a key route avoiding the city centre. It would also be chosen by some cyclists from Gabalfa and Pontcanna in preference to using Colum Road.

We object to the present design and seek changes covering the following:

  1. No indication of priority for vehicles or cyclists movements is shown.  We propose cyclists to have priority against vehicles emerging from the Park, whereas vehicles can have priority entering from North Rd and Corbett Rd.  We reason that vehicles will be waiting for an appropriate traffic light phase for access onto North Road, and should not block the cycleway for all that time.

  1. As the lights phase is not clear to vehicles emerging from the Park, a traffic light control would be preferable (and safe) and appropriately coupled to traffic lights for both directions of the cycleway.

  1. The turning areas for vehicles within the car park (northern and southern parts) need physical separation from the cycleway.  Note this is marked as a mandatory cycleway, but not always respected by vehicles while the turning space is so limited as to encourage drivers to trespass on the cycleway.  The physical separation could be simply bollards for the lengths that are designated for turning.

  1. The layout must be designed to enable cyclists to exit into Corbett Road.  We note vehicles are to be prevented from this movement, but cyclists can fit in easily (readily see the traffic pulses and cross as pedestrians do at present).  Cyclists would make this movement even if not designed.  It must be designed in %u2013 a specific gap in the lengthened separation island would be best in safety terms, with a red box ahead of southbound waiting vehicles.

  1. From Corbett Rd into the Park and onto the cycleway, there should be an advanced cyclist box with mid roadway feed-in (there is as much or more space than at the similar Park Place crossing of Boulevard de Nantes).

  1. Because of the complexity and importance of this issue (and costs involved), we ask the Planning Committee to require detailed proposals, including safety/cycling audits before permitting this new access to the Park.
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