The report which goes before the Development Control committee of RCT Council
on Thursday acknowledges that there will be adverse effects on existing town centres in RCT.
RCT Welsh Liberal Democrat Campaign Manager Karen Roberts says it is more evidence of the indifferent attitude of the Labour administration and senior Officers to the problems being faced by our town centre businesses.
"The report spells out clearly that they expect the new town centre to take business away from existing retail areas such as Pontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy and Porth.
"These are areas which are already struggling fighting not only the recession but also car parking charges and in some cases unwanted pedestrianisation projects - not to mention the convenience offered by existing out of town centres.
"The report dismisses the estimated percentage decrease in trade in other towns as being 'insignificant' - tell that to traders who are already clinging on by their fingertips.
"Local businesses are being betrayed by the very people who should be helping them. I only hope that the Labour administration see sense and turn the proposal down, although given that they were the ones who voted through the Local Development Plan in which this project is outlined then it appears unlikely."
The following extracts are taken from the report which recommends the project be approved.
Retail and Economic Issues
In respect of the retail issues the Council have commissioned Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (NLP) to review the applicant's submission.
Impact on RCT Centres
It is considered that there will be a 5.9% impact on Pontypridd's comparison goods floorspace. This is not considered to be harmful on the centre as a whole. Impact on Talbot Green centre is estimated just below 10%. The centre is expected to remain strong and the impact is not considered to be significantly harmful.
In conclusion and overall it is accepted that the proposed development exceeds the retail floorspace set out in the LDP allocation. However, it is considered that the turnover will be close to that on which the LDP Inspector endorsed the town centre allocation.
The impact of the proposed development has been carefully considered on other centres both inside and outside of the Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough and it is not considered that the impact will be significantly harmful to any centre either within RCT or beyond.
NLP estimate that the figures below represent an estimation of the percentage breakdown of where expected customers of the new town centre will have previously shopped: