If the "dead-end" at the end of Whitcliff Drive was connected to the huge Upper Cosmeston housking estate - the Drive could becme a "rat-run" - say residents

If the “dead-end” at the end of Whitcliff Drive was connected to the huge Upper Cosmeston housing estate – the Drive could become a “rat-run” – say residents

Residents living in the Plymouth Ward of Penarth are voicing worries that the Vale of Glamorgan Council may be secretly planning to build a new road-link which could connect hundreds of  homes at Upper Cosmeston Farm directly to Whitcliffe Drive in Penarth.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has – just this month – more-than-doubled the number of new homes it’s proposing to add to the Upper Cosmeston Farm site to 576  – a move which has promoted increasing concern about the already-congested road infrastructure of southern Penarth .

The congested Brockhill Rise junction copes with traffic from over 160 homes including Whitcliffe Drive

The congested Brockhill Rise junction copes with traffic from over 160 homes including Whitcliffe Drive. A new junction is planned – and there are fears Whitcliffe Drive could become a “rat-run”

Currently there is no direct road connection from Whitcliffe Drive with either the Upper Cosmeston Farm area, or the rest of Penarth’s sea-front. All outbound traffic has to double-back to Lavernock Road – via the congested and dangerous junction at Brockhill Rise.

If a new road from the eastern part of the huge new housing openedo nto Whitcliffe Drive the cliff top could become a "rat-run"

If a new road from the eastern part of the huge new housing estate is opened onto Whitcliffe Drive it’s feared that the cliff top could become a “rat-run”

The Vale of Glamorgan Council now says it proposes to build a new road junction (presumably in addition to the existing Brockhill Rise Junction)  which would link the now-to-be-enlarged Upper Cosmeston Farm housing estate with Lavernock Road – outline details of which appear in the amended document below.

An extract from the Vale of Glamorgan Council's 's revised plan for 576 new houses and two new schools at Upper Cosmeston Farm - adjacent to Penarth

An extract from the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s latest revised plan for 576 new houses and 2 new schools at Upper Cosmeston Farm – adjacent to Penarth

In the extract above, the crossed-out section of text represents the now-defunct parts of the previous plan. The bold underlined type comprises the latest revisions which have just been added to the scheme. What was once envisaged as just “85” new homes is now amended to “576″.

The Vale Council says the new development “will be expected to contribute to the Council’s aspirations for improved walking, cycling and public transport facilities”. (The Vale Council presents no evidence as to whether local tax-paying residents actually share those same “aspirations” ).

The Vale Council also says it wants to ensure what it calls “good permeability” around the proposed enlarged 576 Upper Cosmeston Farm site.  “Permeability” is planning jargon which means creating more access routes into – and out of – the new housing areas,  and it’s this which is worrying Plymouth Ward residents .

Whitcliffe Drive , Penarth has an unrivalled position overlooking the sea

Penarth’s Whitcliffe Drive has an unrivalled position overlooking the sea – but it could become a “rat-run” for traffic coming from adjacent new housing estates.

Local homeowners in the neighbourhood of  Whitcliffe Drive are concerned about speculation that – in addition to the new Lavernock Road Junction – a new road is being planned to run from the Eastern part of the enlarged Upper Cosmeston Estate to link up with the current “dead end” of Whitcliffe Drive.

Penarth residents want the Vale planners to drop their  obfuscatory language and start coming-clean about exactly what is being proposed in terms of new road links.

Cllr Maureen Kelly-Owen (Conservative Plymouth Ward ) attended last month's Vale planning committee but has now stepped down

Cllr Maureen Kelly-Owen (Conservative Plymouth Ward )

Vale Councillor Maureen Kelly-Owen (Conservative Plymouth Ward)  has now grabbed the bull by the horns and has written directly to the Vale Council’s Managing Director Rob Thomas saying:-

Mr Rob Thomas Development Director and Managing Director of the Vale of Glamorgan Council

 Rob Thomas Development Director and Managing Director of the Vale of Glamorgan Council

“I seek your assurance that under no circumstances would you be prepared  to agree  to any developers being  granted a vehicular physical link/route into the  Whitcliffe Drive side of  the land to the south of this area at present under consideration for planning approval by your planning committee.

Cllr Kelly Owen tells Rob Thomas “Serious concerns have rightly been expressed by residents of this Cliff Top Community about their residential area becoming a “rat run” as an alternative route out of the new developments ,to Lavernock Road ,to reach  Penarth (and the rest of the world).  As a professional planner you will be more aware than most of the “ Planning Blight” that  could affect the Cliff Top Community of South Penarth if such an assurance was not in place.”

See original document at http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/Documents/Living/Planning/Policy/LDP/Action-Points/HS4-AP3-HS7-AP2-Amended-Sept-2016.pdf

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  1. Paul says:

    No, object to the houses being built because of the effect overall on traffic. This implies as long as it doesn’t affect one road then it’s ok to build these 600 houses. The whole of Penarth is becoming a rat run, most of this traffic is going to be headed to the motorway and Cardiff. This must be opposed until there’s a plan to avoid adding to the congestion that already exits that doesn’t turn the existing roads in Penarth into rat runs or dual carriageways.

    • Kevin Mahoney says:

      You’ve hit the nail on the head there Paul.

      The whole of Penarth seems to be sleepwalking into one big traffic jam and infrastructure and services overload and not a peep out of other elected representatives from Penarth to support my own and my fellow Sully and Lavernock councillor Bob Penrose’s efforts over a number of years other than what appears to be this one (understandable) but self centred concern for one street rather than the area as a whole.

      It’s about time that other councillors in the area started to wake up and realise the potential disaster being proposed by the ruling Labour party administration helped by the lack of any opposition from the Conservatives who also seem quite happy to see the Sully, Lavernock and Cosmeston area concreted over with the associated knock on effects on already grinding to a halt roads and other services concerns which will of course affect the whole of the Eastern Vale.

      You just can’t keep on building and building in the same place over and over again without any thought to the effects on inadequate space, highways and general infrastructure.


      Kevin Mahoney

      Cllr Sully and Lavernock

  2. Frank Evans says:

    Local referendum on this huge development might be the only way to stop it. 150 signatures needed

  3. Ivor Bagman says:

    How about
    Building a road
    On stilts
    Above the old
    Railway track ?
    Make it one way
    And they won’t come back !

  4. Marcus says:

    How do we set up a local referendum ? I would be willing to support and canvas on this issue. Do any of these councilor so travel along Redlands road in the morning or join the queues coming back into Penarth at night – l bet not or this crazy increase in house numbers would not be contemplated

    • Referendum Bob says:

      To set up a local referendum, you must collect at least 100 signatures and post codes to prove they are on the electoral role.

      Frame a question on the following line:
      We demand a local referendum on the Vale’s LDV plans and we have no confidence in it etc. (or maybe just no confidence in the Vale!)
      When you get the signatures, present them to Penarth Town Council, who will then have to organise a hall for the vote.
      For this you need a majority and at least 150 people in favor of the referendum.
      These must also be on the electoral role.
      Then a full ballot of 15,000 people in Penarth will take place.
      Its not too difficult.


      It was tried with the cycle track, but only got 145 votes in the Paget Rooms so never went to the full referendum, which although isn’t binding the Council would be stupid to ignore it.
      I think it was all covered on Penarth Daily News.

      Good Luck.

      • Marcus says:

        Thanks Bob, seems like the road idea is a red herring but as a few of the comments say raising the profile is good. Do you think the same process would work for the development?

        I must admit I missed the cycle track comments!

        Need to keep a closer eye on things


  5. Christopher David says:

    Yes the big story is stopping this development. Its unrealistic to think one street can be protected given this seemingly inexorable march. Anyway it- the cliff top road may not be there for long. Very near that crumbling cliff!

  6. G says:

    This is a laughable idea based upon zero evidence but fair play, hopefully it’s a good way of mobilising some very wealthy and therefore influential people along that road to participate in the debate.

    A quick look at Whitcliffe Drive on Google Earth shows why this just wouldn’t work. In the photo above, just behind the trees to the right is the end house’s garden, and to the left is the cliff pathway, part of the Wales Coast Path, and then immediately the cliff edge and a sheer drop down into the sea. The amount of available land is not wide enough for a single track road never mind a two lane one.

    Given the very real, current and increasing risk of cliff erosion, no highways engineer in their right mind would advise or design a road in this location. Even if the Council facilitated a very expensive CPO for the developer to acquire a couple of £500k+ houses and a wider strip of land and rode rough shod over the undoubted objections from nearby residents, the cost of underpinning the land and shoring up the cliff face with some form of massive concrete carbuncle would cost tens of millions. This would make the whole thing completely unworkable for any developer, who would have to foot the bill – it would wipe out their projected profit from even the larger development in one fell swoop… unless of course they are given the land for free and some hefty grants, which would then make it unworkable for the Council/the Assembly.

    Firing people up with this kind of scare mongering is no bad thing if it avoids us, as Cllr Kevin Mahoney says, ‘sleep walking’ into what would become a living nightmare. However, we then need to return to fact-based debate and hold to public account the other councillors who are single-mindedly driving this development forward. If the best way to do that is via a referendum – assuming it is legally, technically and practically feasible – great.

  7. Christopher David says:

    Yes. If technicalities correct

  8. Max Wallis says:

    I agree with G, there’s (fortunately) too little space to push in a road-link to Whitcliffe Dv….unless the developers purchase the end house. For this size of development, I understand there has to be a second road access (if only for emergency access/egress), like for the Rhoose Point development. But no mention in the (so brief) planning brief. The second access would plausibly come along the rail track, demolishing the bridge if they need a two-way road.. Best to take the 576 house proposal as it is, and object to it as “unsound”, as well as flouting all ‘sustainability’ principles. The Save Sully Group already objected to the 200 houses on detailed planning/sutainability grounds, with a good submission by their Consultant. Cllr Mahoney might make this available to help people formulate cogent objections to this horrendous development. See also FoE’s letter in today’s Penarth Times.

  9. Kevin Mahoney says:

    Only too happy to help


    Scroll down to submission number 5752 and Down to the Saving Sully Group’s submission on MG2 (23) land at Upper Cosmeston Farm and the park and ride which echo my own lodged submissions.

    These submissions are of course in relation to the original 235 houses proposed not the new proposal for 576 houses but of course the same arguments and points apply to the current proposals except of course doubly so.

    Interestingly enough I had a look at the previous Vale Conservatives proposed LDP which was voted and passed by the Conservative party ruling administration including Sully and Lavernock’s previous Conservative councillors, Anthony Ernest and Sarah Sharpe, which recommended 450 houses for the Cosmeston site and 650 houses for Sully’s Cog Rd, 1100 houses in total.

    So I would suggest anyone pinning their hopes on Sully’s two Independent councillors receiving help from the Conservatives in standing up to Lis Burnett and her Labour colleague’s disastrous plans for the area are probably going to be very disappointed despite Anthony Ernest’s rather hypocritical Damascene conversion on all things housing of late after I have repeatedly pointed out his hypocrisy to him at various public meetings and this news forum following his expressions of horror at the housing levels proposed by Labour.

    Kevin Mahoney
    Cllr Sully and Lavernock

  10. Christopher David says:

    I do wish we could get away from party politics at a local level. In fact as with the Police Commissioner I think it would be best that all candidates have to be independents. Cllr Earnest ducks direct questions. He appears one dimensional and incapable of answering a challenge.

  11. Max Wallis says:

    Thanks to Cllr Mahoney for the link to the Save Sully Group objections to Cosmeston and Sully housing development. The argument that the Council’s housing/population projections are excessive looks telling – what view did the Inspector take on it? Did he give the excuse that household numbers are not so excessive (single person household growing relatively)? Or did he say the Council is entitled to be “ambitious” (so long as they provide the roads/transport and facilities to go with the housing)? Can we challenge the need for the 500 at Cosmeston on the excessive household numbers argument, or does the Inspector consider that is settled?

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