Rail spur plans still on hold in Vale of Glamorgan LDP “Focused Changes” document

SD04-Schedule-Focused-Changes-and-Minor-Changes-Consultation-Document

Schedule of Focused and Minor Changes (document from Vale of Glamorgan Council’s website)

The Vale of Glamorgan Council today publish their ‘Focused Changes’ document, in response to their consultation on the Local Development Plan. This is the next stage in the Council’s ongoing efforts to get its Local Development Plan implemented, setting out what it will do after the public’s response to the LDP, which was published in Autumn 2013.

As we reported then, the proposal for the railway spur from the Vale line into the Airport was dropped, but the threat of it remained in the document, which set out the need to “safeguard” a route for the potential rail link.

People were invited to comment on the LDP, and these comments were taken into account, and now a document called ‘Focused Changes’ has been published. There will now be a period of consultation on these changes only.

Whereas the LDP proposals were ‘safeguarding’ the potential spur route, the new document proposes a change that will see the wording change to ‘consideration’, saying instead.

“Consideration of a route for a potential rail link to Cardiff Airport across the site to ensure development proposals do not compromise future proposals to enhance sustainable access to the airport”

So there are currently no plans to build the spur.

This is good news for residents of the Vale, who would have seen their local train services depleted by the demand on the line for the airport.

It’s good news too for the wildlife and ancient woodlands that will not now be destroyed to make way for the spur, leaving more of this beautiful green wedge landscape intact.

BUT the idea of the spur remains in the planning document. So, the door has been left ajar for the moment, without being firmly closed and locked – and we will need to keep an eye on future developments.

model-farm

Bad news remains, for Gethin Jenkins and Rhys Jenkins, whose family farm lies in the middle of the proposed Enterprise Zone. They and their home at Model Farm were featured on the Stop The Spur website in March 2012. Despite a slight change in the spur plan the future of Model Farm remains grim. As soon as the Enterprise Zone starts to expand from its current location, the farm will stand in the way.

As the land allocated for the current enterprise zone isn’t yet full, it may be a while before this happens. But it looks like Rhys’ prospects of continuing the family farming tradition in the longer term may be destroyed.

The Spur proposal’s threat to the Jenkins family farm

Gethin Jenkins and his son Rhys Jenkins are members of the Stop The Spur campaign.

The Jenkins family farm, Model Farm, has been operational since the 1930s. In fact Rhys is the fourth generation of the family to live and work on the farm.

Among the many other reasons why the Vale rail spur proposal is a bad idea, it would build on a large section of the farm and render it completely unviable as a business.

We have good reasons to think that the driving force behind the rail spur proposal is not primarily the airport but agendas on the part of the landowners and developers.

Watch the video to hear the Jenkins’ story in their own words.

Sign the petition against the spur proposal.