Monday, 12 November 2012

Planning permission is where it goes wrong

[New images added below, 19th November]

With greener streets comes less pollution, happier people, and a better environment. However, the county and town planning departments for Ceredigion seem to allow developments without requiring any significant form of greening at all. Take the recent 'Yr Hen Aelwyd' flats built on the site of a historic building on Llanbadarn Road in Aberystwyth as an example. The site was ideal for the incorporation of some trees and bushes, but instead the county council allowed development that was not in keeping with the area at all, and instead is mostly just car park with frontage right up to the main road (see photos below). Thankfully the older buildings on Llanbadarn Road play their part in making the area look green and impressive, but if Ceredigion County Council keep allowing this new type of concrete and brick development with no greenery then the future roads of Aberystwyth will be dull and dreary, sterile places. The county council should include requirements for trees, bushes and green spaces as part of the planning process for all developments. Without that there are missed opportunities all over the county. 

Crammed up to the road, imposing brick 

The view from one side, not one green area, bush or tree incorporated

View from the other side, just more concrete, despite the large area available

The view down the road - green and pleasant, older buildings, a view we won't see as often thanks to Ceredigion County Council

In a similar vein we'd like to say a hearty congratulations to all those involved in Aberystwyth town centre planning. They've managed to make it look as bland and unnatural as every other identikit mainstream commercial town centre. The impression to those getting off a bus or train is one of grey mediocrity. At least Carmarthen has public toilets for visitors when you get off the bus.

Just for historical background: the loss of the site and trees in exchange for barren flats, and the poor choices made by the county's planning department, has been a cause of concern for many years. See the images below from the Cambrian News. It is interesting that Ceredigion County Council chose not to respond, as usual. We have two letters sent to them recently that have not received a response in nearly three weeks!

Cambrian News, 22 Jan 2004, p6

Cambrian News, 24 June 2004, p6

Cambrian News, 24 June 2004, p8


Bethan said...

Sadly it seems that many people these days just want a place to eat and sleep in between work. Personally I couldn't get by without a garden (with washing line!) now but I guess it isn't everyone's priority.

CIN said...

Yes, it's a shame. Nowhere to grow vegetables, either!