Bridgend open spaces in peril

9 February 2016

We have objected strongly to a string of planning applications from the housing association Valleys to Coast. These proposals threaten to destroy many open spaces around Bridgend, for example at Cefn Glas, Cefn Cribwr and North Connelly.

Green space, Cefn Glas

Green space, Cefn Glas

For instance, within the estate at Cefn Glas, Valleys to Coast intends to eliminate the existing, well-established open space. This is contrary to the Health and Well-being commitments in Bridgend’s Corporate Plan.

Says Dr Jay Kynch, a representative of the Open Spaces Society in South Wales: ‘I am saddened to see a housing association seek to destroy the well-designed open spaces which have been used by local residents for 70 years.

These spaces should be protected in Local Development Plans, ideally as town or village greens. Landowners have the power to dedicate land as a green, thereby giving local people permanent rights to enjoy it and protecting it from development for ever.

‘Green spaces are the hearts and lungs in housing and vital to fulfilling the Welsh Government’s aims for the future well-being and health of Welsh people.

Heol y Frenhines, Cefn Glas Heol y Frenhines, Cefn Glas Photo: Jac White

‘Local authorities need to align their planning policies more closely with the Welsh Government’s policies for health, well-being and sustainability. Bridgend and other councils should draw up special guidance to ensure these spaces are protected from infill development.

‘Valleys to Coast should emulate the practice of Bron Afon Community Housing in Cwmbran, which involves residents in proposals to improve the quality of their open spaces.

Jay adds: ‘If these developments are allowed, it will set a terrible precedent for the loss of open spaces everywhere, and we urge the elected representatives in other counties to protect their future.’