Wednesday, 28 October 2009

AM marches against marble church housing scheme

North Wales Assembly Member Janet Ryder has marched with community campaigners fighting plans to treble the number of houses in their village, saying it is a "warning to us all" of what can happen when local needs are ignored.

 The Plaid Cymru AM for North Wales spoke after joining more than 100 local people who walked across fields at Bodelwyddan that have been put forward for an extra 1715 homes next to the village's landmark marble church. There are currently 800 homes in the village. Janet Ryder said: "The turnout amongst villagers on a wet and windy day reflects the concerns people have about the over-development in this area. Building on fertile green fields like these is unacceptable. I have already raised concerns in the Assembly about this and other housing developments in north-east Wales, which have far more to do with the profits of developers than local housing need.

"If this part of Wales does not have very careful planning in the coming round of Local Development Plans, we're going to see a ribbon of commuter estates and dormitory villages created along the A55 and A483 corridors. This has nothing to do with creating communities with a sustainable future and local people are right to fight this.

"The tone of the campaign group is one of measured anger. This is not a simple NIMBY - Not in my back yard - attitude because residents in Bodelwyddan understand that this is part of a bigger picture whereby the north-east is effectively being used to service the housing needs of the Liverpool and Cheshire region. It does not make sense to create new commuter estates along the A55 for people to travel back and fore to Liverpool and Manchester. That's not a sustainable community and puts huge added pressures on the local infrastructure."

The Bodelwyddan Development Action Group, which organised the protest, also held a mass meeting last week. The meeting, at the village community centre, was chaired by local resident and former Conwy Council chief executive Derek Barker, who slammed the plans. He said:
"If you're looking to develop an area, you don't start off with housing. Past housing growth has had no impact on affordability because we have an area of poor wages based on tourism and agriculture. These plans are not based on local need. We need honesty from Denbighshire County Council because this will just allow Cheshire people to have a house here."

Janet Ryder added:
"These proposals for Bodelwyddan are just the most extreme example of what happens when the needs of a local community are ignored and trampled on. We have a disturbing situation where planners in Flintshire, Conwy, Denbighshire and Wrexham councils are having to reflect the housing needs of a wider sub-region that includes Cheshire and Merseyside through the Mersey-Dee Alliance. I see no similar demand for councils in those areas to reflect the needs of people in this part of Wales - it's one-way traffic."


  1. You will be very lucky to receive honesty from Denbighshire County Council. Most of its employees are dishonest weasles.

  2. I forgot to add "incompetent" to the above comment.