Liberal Democrat councillors are pressing Cardiff Council to vote against two controversial land disposals being proposed by the local authority.
In an amendment tabled by Councillors Rodney Berman and Ashley Wood to a Labour motion calling for the creation of a greener, healthier and wilder Cardiff which is to be debated at the full council meeting taking place on 28 January, they are calling on councillors to vote against the disposal of public open space in Britannia Park in Cardiff Bay to facilitate the development a museum of military medicine.
Their amendment also calls for action to secure greater retention of existing tree cover in the city by establishing criteria that could give greater protection against the disposal of council-owned land which contains existing woodland or substantial mature tree cover. This could make it harder for the council to proceed with the disposal of Flaxland Woods in Gabalfa for development.
Councillor Rodney Berman, who represents the Penylan ward and is standing in May as the lead Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for the South Wales Central region, said:
“There is huge community opposition to the proposed loss of part of Britannia Park for the proposed Museum of Military Medicine. Whilst people have mixed feelings about the value of the museum itself, there is a clear view in the local community that if it does go ahead then it should be located on a different site in the Bay rather than on part of the existing well-used walkway around Roath Basin.
“The museum might have already been granted planning permission in the teeth of this opposition and the petitions that were submitted against it, including the one I organised. However, it’s still not too late for the council to decide not to proceed with handing over the land for this development and look for another site where it could be located.”
Councillor Ashley Wood, who represents the Gabalfa ward, added:
“Flaxland Woods in Gabalfa is just one of countless examples of Cardiff Council playing fast and loose with our environment by selling plots of woodland off to the highest bidder.
“We absolutely need to plant more trees, but the most effective thing we can do is do everything we can to protect mature trees and woodland in our city."
The amendment tabled by Cardiff Liberal Democrat councillors reads as follows:
In section headed “Therefore this council proposes:” insert the following additional bullet points prior to existing bullet point 6, and renumber accordingly:
- In line with the aim of a creating a greener Cardiff, to reject the planned disposal of public open space in an area of the city recognised as deficient in open space to facilitate the development of a museum of military medicine
- In addition to planting new trees, to also develop a plan for greater retention of existing tree cover in the city – including by establishing criteria which would give greater protection against the disposal for development of council owned land with existing woodland or substantial mature tree cover.