Borough Council's LDP plans!
Up to ninety local people attended an online Zoom meeting on Sunday afternoon to voice their concerns and were united in their commitment to oppose the developments.
The meeting was organised by Gruffudd Parry, a local teacher and was brilliantly chaired by Susie Webb, a singer, choral director and DJ. The meeting, which proved a real success in uniting people in their opposition to the plans, lasted almost three hours and a number of key issues were raised, ranging from the LDP plans themselves to the detrimental impact the plans will inevitably have on housing, the environment, pollution and flooding. Many locals were also keen on highlighting the ways in which the plans would impact on people's mental health and wellbeing.
Mr. Parry, who is also the Conservative candidate for Torfaen in May's Welsh Elections said, "These plans are a direct risk to the very fabric of our community and I was heartened by the public reaction. As a local teacher, the mental health and wellbeing of all children is of paramount importance and we do not want a Torfaen with no green spaces for our children to grow up in. It is about time that Torfaen County Borough Council recognised the need to think again and to act in the public interest."
There were a great many inspiring and heartfelt contributions from local residents and Mrs. Webb who also volunteers as a radio presenter for SW20RADIO said, "Tonight, the local community came together online to highlight concerns with regards to the current LDP of Craig Y Felin fields. As a community, we need to be provided with transparent adequate evidence that this development will not seriously impact the already growing problem of flooding, pollution, mental wellbeing of residents and destruction of habitat for our protected wildlife."
Ms Jane Parfitt, a staunch critic of the plans said, "We must ask ourselves what measures have been taken to monitor wildlife in these fields, and trees that have been felled. What about protected animals, insects, birds and plant life? There is talk about protecting our environment, climate change and health and wellbeing etc being so important - this does not seem to apply to Torfaen."
Another member of the group Ms Blake said, "The power of the people’s voice is important for all councillors and the Welsh Assembly needs to sit up, stop, look and listen to the people it claims to represent.”
The campaign, which is increasingly gaining momentum, attracted a great many local councillors such as Cllrs Bevan/Overton and Jones from the Conservative Party and Cllrs Haynes/Thomas/ Slade and O'Connell who stand as Independents. It was also pleasing to see David TC Davies MP and Laura Anne-Jones MS in attendance!
Ms. Jones, who currently sits as the Shadow Minister for Housing and Local Government, Equalities, Children and Young People committed to raising the group's concerns during a debate in the Senedd on Wednesday!
Mr. Davies, who represents the Llanfrechfa part of Torfaen said, "We should challenge the Council as to what their estimate is of the local demand for housing. Getting rid of greenfield sites will obviously have an impact on the mental health of children who need green spaces to play in so we could also raise this issue with the Children's Commissioner."
It was also good to see Catrin Maby, who is Labour's Senedd candidate for Monmouth in attendance who stated that she could "see why members weren't happy about this."
It is worth noting that many other councillors from other parties were contacted and asked to attend but it was disappointing to observe that many chose neither to respond nor attend the meeting!