Neighbours lose long battle with council to demolish house for cycle path

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A "perfectly good" home will be demolished to make way for a cycle path to a new build estate, much to neighbour's fury. (Wales News Service)

A "perfectly good" home will be demolished to make way for a cycle path after neighbours lost a legal battle to save it.

The four-bedroom private home is less than 20 years old, but will be demolished to create a cycle route to a new "affordable" housing development on the outskirts of Cardiff, much to the horror of those who already live in the area.

The destruction order for the £300,000-plus house is part of plans for 45 new social housing homes next to their existing private houses in a suburban cul-de-sac.

The planning permission was approved by Cardiff Council on Tuesday, marking the end of a legal battle for residents.

They had claimed the proposal would create a "rat run" which would see an increase in crime in the area.

A petition to "Save Number 43" was signed by nearly 300 people to call on the council to reject the pathway plans in the Pontprennau suburb of commuter homes.

Nieghbour Joanna Fashan presented the petition to Cardiff council’s planning committee in a battle to save their privacy.

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Outraged neighbours have lost a battle against the demolition of a
This house ringed in red will be removed for the route. (Wales news Service)
Outraged neighbours have lost a battle against the demolition of a
The alleyway would provide a pedestrian route and cycle path to and from the new build estate. (Wales News Service)

She said: "Residents deliberately purchased properties on this street as it was a closed cul-de-sac, knowing we could raise our families safely, have quiet retirements, feel safe living alone, and all the other positives that living on such a street has.

“This alleyway is creates a rat run. We are therefore at risk of higher crime rates, for example from opportunist car thieves. This puts the safety and security of the whole community at risk.”

The house was bought more than a year ago by site developers United Welsh bought this house about a year ago and is renting it out before the demolition.

Emma Fortune, a planning agent representing the developers, said: “This footpath and cycleway will provide an important strategic active travel link for residents.

“The link provides a safe and convenient alternative, so residents can walk or cycle, rather than use their cars."

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Outraged neighbours have lost a battle against the demolition of a
Vaughan and Alison Williams are both retired and have lived at their home for over 20 years but will now consider moving. (Wales News Service)

Some neighbours complained about creating a social housing “ghetto”, which a councillor hit back at - saying people such as "lawyers and engineers" live in social housing.

Cllr Ali Ahmed said: “We’re not creating any ghetto. Most people who live in social housing, some of them are solicitors, barristers, engineers, you name it. Yes we are destroying one house, but we are trying to provide 45 much-needed homes for Cardiff residents.”

Vaughan and Alison Williams are both retired and have lived at their home for over 20 years but will now consider moving.

They said: "We've got no problem with social housing and when we purchased our property it was in a quiet cul-de-sac.

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Outraged neighbours have lost a battle against the demolition of a
The house that is to be demolished to make way for the cycle path is pictured in the centre. (Wales News Service)
Outraged neighbours have lost a battle against the demolition of a
The field which will be developed and the estate below where a house will be demolish to way way for a cycle path. (Wales News Service)

"The demolition won't make us feel secure and it'll change the dynamic of the street. You don't expect a perfectly good house to be demolished.

"The cycle path leads to nowhere, there's no shops at the bottom of the road.

"If the decision wasn't reversed eventually we would move because our dynamics would change completely.

"As a community here, we don't object to social housing, only the cycle lane."

Residents also raised issues of the isolated nature of the development which is “plonked “among fields with no amenities or connectivity."

Mr Lee said: “This lets people in affordable housing down.”

Developers United Welsh say it is important for the new builds to "integrate well" with the community.

A spokesman said: "This development will provide much needed high-quality homes for affordable rent and first-time buyers.

"It is important for the proposed new homes to integrate well with the community and for pedestrians and cyclists to have adequate access to local facilities and amenities

"Local residents are being consulted as part of the planning process.”

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