Developers have submitted detailed plans for a 21st century garden city in north west Cardiff which they say will deliver the homes and community the capital needs, help fuel economic growth and be a ‘model for sustainable living’.
Plasdŵr is the £2 billion development planned for north west Cardiff comprising around 7000 new homes plus shops, offices, schools, health centres, leisure centres, pubs and restaurants. It promises “world-class, sustainable, contemporary community living in a country park setting”.
The plan for Plasdŵr takes its inspiration from the enduring garden city movement, founded on the principles of “fresh air, sunlight, breathing room and playing room”.
According to developer, Wales-based Redrow Homes, it incorporates the ‘successful elements of the garden city movement and existing areas of Cardiff such as Pontcanna and Rhiwbina. Characterised by plentiful green spaces with four distinct centres, Plasdŵr will be set within 900 acres of open countryside bordering the existing communities of Fairwater, St Fagans, Danescourt and Radyr.
The proposed development underpins the local authority’s Local Development Plan (LDP) which identifies residential development in north west Cardiff as key to the city’s economic growth. The LDP has been approved by the Council and is currently being considered by an independent planning inspector on behalf of Welsh Government, with a decision expected in October 2015. If both the LDP and the Plasdŵr plans are approved, work is likely to begin at the beginning of 2016 and will last up to 20 years.
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The environments in which we live, work and spend leisure time – both the physical nature of places and the social environment of communities – have a large impact on our health and wellbeing. The RTPI (Royal Town Planning Institute) have produced an interesting report on this topic.
Promoting Healthy Cities summarises planning and health challenges and provides examples of where planners, other professionals and decision-makers are leading responses to these health challenges.
In the twenty-first century, we need to develop a new urban agenda focused on healthy placemaking for all. Planning in the broadest sense – from development management and infrastructure to the location of health and community services – can play a central role in creating environments that enhance people’s health and wellbeing.
We need to develop more integrated strategies for healthy placemaking, gather greater intelligence on the social and economic determinants of urban health to guide decisions and investments, reform and strengthen institutions to develop systems of governance that urban populations need, and involve more professions and communities to promote healthy cities.
A copy of the Report can be downloaded HERE rtpi_promoting_healthy_cities
Communities with ideas for a new generation of garden cities will receive support from the government to turn their ambitions into reality, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced (14 April 2014).
A prospectus will help communities work up proposals for ambitious new developments, which are locally-led, include at least 15,000 homes and have the backing of existing residents.
There is genuine enthusiasm and ambition for growth in communities across the country, but new developments must be well-designed, and bring together high-quality homes, jobs, and green spaces in communities where people want to live raise their children.
The Government want to work closely with areas which bring forward strong expressions of interest to help them develop their proposals, understand the barriers to delivery and offer government brokerage and support through the Large Sites scheme and other existing schemes where it can help to unblock these.
Ministers believe these locally-led developments will play a crucial role in delivering the number of new homes the country needs, but it is vital that they are not imposed from above.
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Last month, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg used a newspaper column to highlight the fact that a prospectus promised by the government more than two years ago to define the processes for promoting large settlements and garden cities remains unpublished.
Where the prospectus currently sits in government and how far it has progressed is unclear.
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Pressure for a clear policy statement on new settlements is coming from a wide range of quarters, with a growing consensus that housing demand is not being met from incremental development.