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Anyone know what's happening at Tirfounder? Semms months since work there came to a stop. Having deciminated everything in sight it's now a real blot on the landscape and, not surpirisingly, during the recent rainfall resembled a lake.

Not sure as i am new to the area i dont know what was proposed for the land. Think this poem says it all though. -

The above link is a Development Report for Tirfounder Fields.

They estimate 1000 tons of hardcore a day would be imported onto the site to raise the ground level I assume to prevent the flooding that now occurs.
By raising the ground level infilling the floodplain moves the problem of excess rainwater in a flash flood situation down the valley towards the multimillion pound new hospital proposed on yet another floodplain, our local councilors do make some good decisions.

214 dwellings that’s around 214 more vehicles using the Asda roundabout even more if dwellings have more than one vehicle. A previous site meeting concerning the adjoining retail park a local councilor showed concern about vehicle congestion and don’t forget the 66 new dwellings to be constructed on Abercwmboi Rugby Club site.

You have to ask the question what is in it for our local councilors they are supposed to represent local people but all they are doing is making Cynon Valley one big traffic jam with no plans for major road improvements in the valley.

I only hope that our councilors read this website, as this is a message for them. Please listen to the residents of the Cynon Valley. This message is in no way intended as a moan and groan, but you cannot keep building more housing in this valley without it causing total mayhem. You must face facts that there is very little work around here, therefor we have to commute out of the valley for employment. If you build more houses, those people will have to do the same. Unless you are prepared to stick a dual carriageway somewhere, then do not allow any more building here. If you do, then do not moan to the general public for causing congestion trying to get to and from work, as it is in fact you are the ones causing the congestion by allowing the building of more houses to continue. We are a small valley, not a city. If you want to treat us like a city, then get more jobs up here so we don't have to commute.

Yes Geraint its good to know our local councilors know when they are on to a good thing just how much is this little endorsement going to cost us. The photograph on the councils own website clearly shows Tirfounder Fields where our local councilors have endorsed consent for the construction of 214 dwellings well and truly underwater , I think the term is called flooding on a floodplain.

I don’t think the image will be on the website long because it shows the incompetence of our local councilors for allowing development and allowing devastation of all the mature trees. I feel sorry for all the people who will purchase these new properties not knowing the outcome when flashfloods arrive.

This application has now been refused.

Thats good news.
What will they do with it now I wonder.?
It would make an ideal wetland nature reserve.

Cinema would be good.

Here's the link regarding the planning refusal:-

Our councillors have previously given outline consent for development at Tirfounder Fields, just because on paper now our councillors voted against this project it means nothing.
The developers will now go to appeal to the Assembly in Cardiff a decision will be made by the inspector.

When consent is granted by the assembly our local councillors will say they voted against the development so don’t blame us. Don’t forget there is a local election due in May and it wouldn’t go down well with the voters.

What you have to ask yourselves if consent for development has been rejected by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council who gave permission to contractors and developers to decimate the landscape cutting down well established trees ect.

Contractors have been working on the site for several months with large numbers of earth moving machines development has been ongoing apparently without consent fences over 2 meters high have been erected next to a public road.

If no consent has been given for the above will our local authority take appropriate action? I think not it will be brushed under the carpet.

I find it strange that our councillors voted against the recommendation of the Service Director of Development Control for development at Tirfounder Fields but in Abernant Service Director Development Control for development advised against development but our local councillor’s voted against the recommendation of their planners.WHY

I don't like the current planning process either but what's the answer? Leave it just to the planning officers?

Be prepared for lots more vehicles queuing at the Asda roundabout

13 MARCH 2008

98/4647/16 (GD)
Landare Investments Ltd
Retail Park(amended plans received 25/10/05).
This submission seeks reserved matters approval for the development of the balance of the retail development granted outline planning permission in December 1989 (Application No. 51/87/0244 refers). The Reserved Matters submission was held in abeyance by mutual agreement until the end of October 2005, when the applicants submitted revised plans.
The application seeks consent in respect of the siting, design, external appearance landscaping and means of access throughout the site. The principal means of access has already been considered and it does not form part of this application.
The current submission seeks consent to develop the following:-
• At the northern end of the site a 2787 square metre (30,000 square foot) DIY store with an associated 929 square metre (10,000 square foot) retail garden centre.
• A block of five retail units along the eastern flank of the site, four of 929 square metres (10,000 square foot), and one of 1161 square metre, (12,500 square foot).
• A block of three retail units on the southern end of the site with a total area of 3484 square metres, (37,500 square foot). Two of the units are of 1045 square metres, (11,140 square feet) and one of which is 1350 square metres, (14,530 square foot).


The developers have now gon to appeal to the Assembly in Cardiff a decision will be made by the inspector.

Vision statement
The heron is one of the largest British bird species. They are regularly seen laboriously flying along rivers and valleys. Until recently, it was assumed that most of the herons seen in RCT originated from the large heronry in the Vale of Glamorgan. Only one small heronry on the River Taff was known. However, in 1998 a large heronry (17 nests) was discovered in the Rhondda. Although known for several years by local residents, it only came to a wider attention when forestry works threatened the site. As an example of local biodiversity action, the response and awareness-raising exercise of the local residents demonstrated what can be achieved. Forest Enterprise are now aware of the heronry and it is secure. Recently, a third larger heronry has been recorded in a conifer plantation in the Pontypridd area.

In addition to nesting sites, certain wetland sites are particularly important as hunting ground for herons. One of these is the Cynon floodplain at Tirfounder Fields, Aberaman, where herons regularly feed in and around a series of floodplain pools and lagoons. Tirfounder Fields is under immense development pressure and the conservation of these undisturbed wetland habitats is of considerable importance for a host of wetland species.

The heron is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and has been identified by the Local Biodiversity Action Plan process as a locally valued bird.

Vision statement
The great crested newt is considered to have an unfavourable conservation status in Europe and has been shown to have declined by 25-30% in Britain within the last 25 years. Despite this, the great crested newt is still widespread, with strongholds in parts of lowland England and Wales. Elsewhere it is rare or absent (e.g. Devon and Cornwall).

Britain supports a significant proportion of the European population (estimated 400,000 individuals, in 18,000 colonies) with 90% of colonies in lowland England. In Wales no quantitative data are available but the species is fairly widespread through the eastern half of the country. Two small colonies are currently known in RCT.

The great crested newt has a complex set of habitat requirements. They require a fair-sized pond, ditch or section of canal. These water-bodies are usually floristically diverse (although colonies can occur in almost un-vegetated ponds), with at least 50 cm depth of water and usually over 100 metres square in area. Fish and ducks are a threat. Ponds which occasionally dry-up can still be suitable (because predatory fish cannot survive). Good water quality is not a primary requirement and colonies can occur in distinctly polluted water.

Surrounding habitat is very important as feeding and hibernating habitat for the adults. Ideally one hectare of suitable habitat can support up to 250 adult newts, but at least half a hectare of prime habitat is the minimum required area for a viable, long-term population. Research indicates that immature animals can range 500 metres from a breeding pond. Ideal habitat includes rough grassland, rhos pasture and light scrub. Derelict land-fill sites, industrial estates, town gardens and parks can be as acceptable as prime, unimproved wetland habitat.

The great crested newt is fully protected under Schedule 2 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations 1994 (Regulation 38) and Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and is listed in Annexes II and IV of the EC Habitats Directive and Appendix II of the Bern Convention. It is also afforded a National Biodiversity Action Plan. Due to their status within the Habitats Directive, great crested newt and their habitat have some of the stongest environmental policy protection of all Welsh species.

Councils urged to take tough line on flooding risk

The Government has published new guidance for planning authorities on dealing with flooding risk when deciding on new housing development.

Five steps are highlighted in a good practice guide written to accompany PPS 25, the planning policy statement on flooding.

Councils are advised to:

identify what the flood risks are including river/sea breaches, inadequate drainage and surface water runoff or sewer problems.
avoid risk by prioritising non-flood areas first for new development.
critically assess whether the need for a new development outweighs flood risk, including following Environment Agency advice.
control flooding using sustainable drainage and good design.
ensure all new buildings that have to be in areas that might flood are resilient and safe.

Planning minister Caroline Flint said: "We saw very clearly last summer the devastating potential of severe storms. We can't prevent heavy downpours or abandon those already living in flood plains but wherever possible we need to make sure councils are avoiding or reducing the risk of flooding in their communities.

"The Government has put tough planning rules in place for flood risk areas that we need councils to enforce. To help them we are issuing a five-step guide to planning new homes so councils have no excuse for failing to protect their communities."

A public enquiry is to be held at Michael Sobell Sports Centre at 10 AM on September 9 2008.

The only questions to ask of the Planning Inspector would you live in a house built on a floodplain and show him the photograph displayed on Rhondda Cynon Taf website

The roads are congested enough around Asda roundabout at the moment just imagine another 400 vehicles attempting to negotiate in a small area that’s without all the new retail development that is taking place next to Asda that has achieved consent for development.

It would seem that Asda had undertaken, as part of the planning permission they had, to provide lakes and general amenities. We are trying to confirm that this so. Can anyone supply any info on this as there is not long before meeting.

“In addition to nesting sites, certain wetland sites are particularly important as hunting ground for herons. One of these is the Cynon floodplain at Tirfounder Fields, Aberaman, where herons regularly feed in and around a series of floodplain pools and lagoons. Tirfounder Fields is under immense development pressure and the conservation of these undisturbed wetland habitats is of considerable importance for a host of wetland species. The heron is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and has been identified by the Local Biodiversity Action Plan process as a locally valued bird.
“The landscaping of the site is relatively light with surfaces laid to lawn with some appropriate tree planting close to the houses themselves. Detailing of the planting to the buffer areas at the fringes of the site fronting the river”
: Reserved matters relate only to siting, design, external appearance, access (in as much as it relates to the dwellings now proposed) and landscaping issues”

Tirfounder Fields Development Site, Aberdare

Mr. Temple-Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will exercise his powers under part X of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 to direct the Cynon Valley borough council and the Mid Glamorgan county council to dispose of their interest in land required for access to the development site at Tirfounder Fields, Aberdare, owned by Landare Investments, subject to conditions that any purchaser shall provide appropriate means of public access to that development site;

(2) if he will exercise his powers under part X of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 to direct the Cynon Valley borough council and the Mid Glamorgan county council to dispose of their interest in land required by Landare Investments for access to their development site at Tirfounder Fields, Aberdare, to Landare Investments.

Column 132

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The Government's policy is to use the powers of direction under part X of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 in circumstances where land is being held by public bodies without good cause. I understand that both Mid Glamorgan county council and Cynon Valley borough council have agreed to dispose of the relevant land. In those circumstances, a direction would not be appropriate.

Thanks Lewis,
I shall follow all the links provided. BTW this latest attempt, does this refer to the land ajoining the Ynys with all the water birds etc.

I don’t think it refers to the upper part of Tirfounder fields but who knows money talks developers do just what they want in Cynon Valley with no resistance from local councilors, assembly members and our long lost MP.

The Rhondda Cynon Taf link below clearly shows a photograph of Tirfounder Fields with the impression that funding will be given to preserve this wildlife habitat.

I would say Tirfounder Fields had one of the best natural wildlife habitats in RCT before the developers removed all well establish trees altered watercourses all without gaining approval for development, once again RCT planning enforcement department turning a blind eye to developers in Cynon Valley and no action taken.

RCT say one thing in documents produced and does another; common sense will tell you that the road infrastructure is well below what is required. The Asda roundabout is not capable of further development bearing in mind approval has been given for further retail development on the site and also residential development on Abercwmboi Rugby field when the old clubhouse is demolished.
What you have to remember is the developer is not interested in local people only profit and couldn’t care less about traffic conditions and problems with queuing traffic for years to come. When this happens the answer from the local authority would be we have no funding so just place some traffic lights on the Asda roundabout the cheep way out of a long term problem.

As for wildlife habitats it is clear the developer is not interested after butchering all well establish trees on the site altering watercourses showing no respect for local wildlife. Below is an extract from the Local Development plan, if the words written mean anything, why has no action been taken by the enforcement department at RCT?


Cabinet – 27.11.06

SP 11 - Protection of the Natural Environment
Rhondda Cynon Taf’s distinctive rural character will be preserved and enhanced by the protection and improvement of the natural environment, countryside and landscape from inappropriate development. Development proposals will not be permitted if it would cause unacceptable harm to the following: -

a) The character and quality of local landscapes and the wider countryside;
b) Ecology and wildlife of acknowledged importance;
c) The quality of natural resources including water, air and soil;
d) Natural drainage of surface water;

I will have to see all this country when i next visit Wales , i just love my country walks to see all the wild life.just looked at the site and it looks great .

Thanks Lewis for that link. It does sugest that the uper part of Tirfounder will be left alone. The rape of the middle field is horrendous. Who are these people who just go in and do this?
Do you remember the Heronry that was sited on the side of the railway where Cwmbach station is now?

I've said it bfore and will say it again that RCT Council is the biggest threat to our environment, and those who continue to vote them into power are just as guilty as the council itself of its destruction. It's all down to self interest, contempt and arrogance.

When they start rabbiting on about how they will protect the environment and listen to the wishes of the electorate, it's all just hot air and meaningless drivel when it conflicts with the interests of their developer pals. The environment comes way down the list with this council, and all their environmental initiatives are just a sop to appease the gullible masses who vote for them.

Do you remember the Heronry?
I don’t remember the Heronry but I am aware there are a number of Herons within the site as you are aware the Heron is a protected specie’s of bird but I don’t think that applies in Rhondda Cynon Taf its developers first community and environment last.

Found the link below interesting to know there are white herons in Tirfounder.
“You don’t get this kind of information in bird identification guides…it is all original observation. It just shows what you can see when you look.

Little egret have been present the lower fields of Tirfounder Fields, Aberdare. I have been sent some excellent photographs and the other day as I drove over the road bridge I was rewarded with a fleeting glimpse of a pure white heron standing in the main lagoon.”

The photographs of Tirfounder Fields on here are superb, Lewis. If the philistines who run RCT Council allow any development to take place on that site then they deserve to be rightly condemned for the vandals that they are.

The Labour Group are already responsible for the destruction of green areas in our communities, having completely ignored the wishes of residents and their own planning officers beforehand. As has been pointed out already, it's vested interests first and foremost, and the environment and communities way down the list after that.

Whenever I hear of the destruction of another part of our environment in RCT it always crosses my mind that somebody has been got at somewhere along the line, and the old machinery of wheels within wheels has been turning to some minority group's or individual's advantage.

The nod and the wink method of political chicanery is thriving here in this Labour fiefdom. The serfs of course have no voice in the matter of protecting their environments from the robber barons of the Labour Party and their developer pals.

I've seen the double standards and double dealing at first hand, so it's no surprise to me that like the Vandals who sacked Rome, the pillaging of our landscape by Labour's planning committee will go on without any accountability.

I saw some hoodie kids attempting to wreck a lampost in Robertstown a few months back. The kids were obviously worse the wear from booze. I didn't stop the car to tell them off, as any citizen should do, because I could tell that they were already in an ugly mood, and my attempt would probably have made them attack me. I wasn't prepared to risk it.

To me they were just a bunch of brainless halfwits, but then I had to ask myself what difference was there between them and the councillors on RCT planning committee who knowingly give permission to developers to ruin areas far more precious to us than any lampost?

The planners do it within the law, but who is worse, the yobs who wreck public property or the planners who do exactly the same but on a larger scale?

The only difference that I can see is that the yobs are in jeans and hoods, whilst the latter are dressed in suits and attending council meetings. To me they're both mindless vandals.

Forgive me if you are NOT a Don Henley fan but I think you may find these lyircs from him of some relevance.

(Don Henley/Stan Lynch/Jai Winding/Frank Simes)

The rains have come early, they say
We're all gonna wash away
Well, that's all right with me
If heaven's torrent can wash clean
The arrogance that lies unseen
In the damage done since we have gone
Where we ought not to be
Goodbye to a river
Goodbye to a river
So long

Lakes and levees, dams and locks
They put that river in a box
It was running wild
And men must have control
We live our lives in starts and fits
We lose our wonder bit by bit
We condescend and in the end
We lose our very souls
Goodbye to a river
Goodbye to a river
So long

The dirty water washes down
Poisoning the common ground
Taking sins of farm and town
And bearing them away
The captains of industry
And their tools on the hill
They're killing everything divine
What will I tell this child of mine

I make a church out of words
As the years dull my senses
And I try to hold on to the world that I knew
I struggle to cross generational fences
And the beauty that still remains
I can touch it through you
Goodbye to a river
Goodbye to a river
So long

Goodbye to a river
Goodbye to a river
So long

Goodbye to a river
Goodbye to a river
So long

Goodbye to a river
Goodbye to a river
Roll on


Artist: Don Henley
Song: Inside job
Album: Inside Job
[B u y " Inside Job " CD]

(don henley/mike campbell)

While you were sleeping
They came and took it all away
The lanes and the meadows
The places where you used to play

It was an inside job
By the well-connected
Your little protest
So merrily rejected

It was an inside job
Like it always is
Chalk it up to business as usual

While we are dreaming
This little island disappears
While you are looking the other way
They'll take your right to own your own ideas

And it's an inside job
Favors collected
Your trusted servants
Have left you unprotected

It was an inside job
Like it always is
Just chalk it up
To business as usual

You think that you're so smart
But you don't have a fucking clue
What those men up in the towers
Are doing to me and you
And they'll keep doin' it and doin' it
And doin' it and doin' it
And doin' it and doin' it
And doin' it and doin' it
Until we all wake up
Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up

I know what i've done wrong
I am acquainted with the night
I know how hard it is
To always walk out in the light

And it's an inside job
To learn about forgiving
It's an inside job
To hang on to the joy of living

They know the road by which you came
They know your mother's maiden name
And what you had for breakfast
And what you've hidden in the mattress

Insect politics
Indifferent universe
Bang your head against the wall
But apathy is worse

It's an inside job
It's an inside job
It's an inside job
Yeh, yeah

It's an inside job
It's an inside job
It's an inside job
It's an inside job

It's an inside job
It's an inside job

Verse from Don Henley. Gimme what you got.

And it's still gimme, gimme what you got
I said gimme, gimme what you got
(I want it, I want it)
Gimme, gimme what you got
Now it's take and take and takeover, takeover
It's all take and never give
All these trumped up towers
They're just golden showers
Where are people supposed to live?
You can arm yourself, alarm yourself
But there's nowhere you can run
'cause a man with a briefcase
Can steal more money
Than any man with a gun

Excellent lyrics there, onevoice666, though I can't say I've even heard of the guy, and I'm a musician myself!

Still, it describes the vandals and philistines who run RCT and what they're doing to our precious environment for the benefit of their developer pals.

Part of the last song reminds me of lyrics by Woody Guthrie: "Some people rob you with a fountain pen." Or Bob Dylan's, "Steal a little and they put you in jail; steal a lot and they make you a king."

Just goes to show that Woody Guthrie's fight for unions and human rights is still relevant today. To my mind, those who are prepared to devastate our environment for the sake of profit, and those who allow them to do it when they have the power to stop it, are just as capable of abuse of human rights as well.

The two go together; it's happening all over the world, and wherever profit clashes with environmental abuse, there are human rights abuses too.

Whenever a controversial decision is made by RCT's planning committee, and the wind farm issue is uppermost in my mind here, though it's not the only one I could cite, you can guarantee that there's a lot more been going on behind the veil of legality and respectability.

That's just the public face they put out for the benefit of the gullible and the incredulous. I always ask myself the same question when I see some environmental initiative trumpeted by RCT council in the local rag or on circulars that they send round to us: Would I buy a used car off these people?

The answer is always: I'll bet that ain't the true mileage on the clock! They're just a bunch of horse traders and used car dealers. Reminds me of another line by Tom Waits: "The large print giveth and the small print taketh away."

Sums up RCT council's environmental record to the letter I'd say.

Just for your information, Don Henley is drummer/lead singer with The Eagles, ( Hotel California ).

Ah, The Eagles. Can't say they were ever my cup of tea, but I did like the West Coast scene back then. I never really took much notice of the Eagles, but those lyrics are fine by me, describing quite well the environmental vandalism that is perpetrated upon this valley by RCT's Labour Group.

Funny though, I remember that RCT's environmental spokesman at the time of the launch of the environmental document, A Better Life, was very busy doing his best to screw up the environment in Abernant. He succeeded too, depriving the village of a stretch of greenery used for decades by generations of villagers, and whose development was bitterly opposed by the whole village. Even RCT's own planning officers were against the development.

That didn't stop him though. He was determined to wreak his particular form of havoc upon the village and give the developers priority over all opposition no matter where it came from.

Seems that another bunch of planners on RCT has been up to chicanery with the wind farm issue as well. And so the tale continues of RCT's planners ignoring the opposition to appease the vested interests that they serve.

At least we know what to make of their environmental initiatives in the future now though don't we? It'll be recycling next. They'll be pleading for us to recycle our rubbish for the good of the planet and RCT's environment.

No doubt another blurb in the local rag will be given prominence to show the sheep what a great environmentally aware council we've got, and how they should be congratulated for their lofty initiative. Until, that is, the next developer wants a piece of the action in RCT and then all will be forgotten.

It seems to be a problem with the modern Labour Party of sucking up to big business across the country. Tony Blair was a little toady when it came to appeasing the corporates. That's why his environmental credentials, like those of the minions here in RCT, never really meant anything. I never took him seriously anyway, so I was never disappointed when he went back on his environmental promises, or any other promise for that matter.

I'm afraid that until our rulers and betters begin to take this environmental issue seriously and give the environment priority in all planning decisions- not lip service, but real concern- then we are going to see our environment and our communities deteriorate under Labour's assaults for a long time to come.

While the Eagles had great success and Don Henley went on to achive even more, Don Henley's proudest achivement is He fronted, founded and funded this project for the last 15 or so years.

If you were to read a little about Don it make you realise why the above lyrics appear so apt in this thread.

Hope you enjoy the discovery and it prooves that sometimes the fight is worth it.

Y ddraenen, Try this out its a track from thier latest album.

The lyrics go along the lines of:-
No More Walks In The Wood :-

No more walks in the wood
The trees have all been cut down
And where once they stood
Not even a wagon rut
Appears along the path
Low brush is taking over

No more walks in the wood
This is the aftermath
Of afternoons in the clover fields
Where we once made love
Then wandered home together
Where the trees arched above
Where we made our own weather
When branches were the sky
Now they are gone for good
And you, for ill, and I
Am only a passer-by

We and the trees and the way
Back from the fields of play
Lasted as long as we could
No more walks in the wood

And here's a chance to listen to how it sounds :)

Some great music from the Eagles rearly enjoyed listening to them.good lyrics to some of them too. thanks Onevoise.

New plans to prepare Wales for climate change flood fears

New plans to prepare Wales for flooding which will become more frequent because of climate change will be revealed by Environment Agency Wales during September. This begins an extensive 3 month consultation process with representatives of those most affected by flooding.

The Catchment Flood Management Plans (CFMPs) are long term strategic plans to address the predicted increase in flooding and the serious implications for Wales’ homeowners, landowners, economy and environment.

The predicted rise in heavy rainfall due to climate change is expected to increase incidents in Wales over the next 100 years.

With this in mind, Environment Agency Wales will spend the next 3 months consulting with key organisations and community representatives to gain valuable local knowledge and start a wider debate on the future of flood risk management in a changing climate.

The CFMPs high level plans are supported by both the Welsh Assembly Government and Defra in England, and are based on river and not political boundaries.

Chris Mills, Director, Environment Agency Wales, said;

“Traditionally, the approach to managing flood risk has been dominated by the construction of flood defences. But in the future it will not be possible to defend everyone, everywhere, all of the time.

“Building higher and higher defences won’t solve the problem in 100 years time. We have to put plans in motion now to collectively find the best solutions for dealing with increased volumes of water that will inevitably cause us problems in the future.

“We have seen over the last few days the problems that floods can cause. It is important that we look to tackle flooding now and in the future.”

Hello Geraint, I am a local councillor (new since May)I read this and other websites because its so important to listen to what people are saying.The reason I stood for election was because I totally agree with your concerns regarding the planning system and how so called development control is having such a detrimental effect on our valley.I had and still do have sincere intentions in trying to be a voice for the people but I must admit it's an uphill struggle. I am not the only councillor who has wondered what the point is of us being on a planning committee, all too often if the planners recommend approval then its really hard to vote against them because 9 times out of 10 an appeal to the Assembly will overturn the decision. Even more frustrating is the fact that developers can appeal, resubmit, appeal, on and on and on..but people who I feel have very valid objections do not have the right to appeal decisions made by RCT planners, committee or the assembly. I really believe the whole system is flawed and unfairly weighted in favour of developers who can cherry pick from the planning policies to suit their applications. Anyway, will continue to read and listen to your views and continue to try and lobby for change. oops I'm starting to sound like a politician!

In general terms our planning system, once designed to prevent adverse urban sprawl, has now become totally useless, as it is easily manipulated by developers. They of course can submit and resubmit plans until they get what they want. We as objectors on the other hand have no such rights. We can make our objections, but once the scheme is passed, that's it, it's all systems go.

We saw the Stanstead airport decision being passed. The next such anomaly will undoubtedly be Heathrow. That is going to be even worse because people will literally lose their homes if that is passed. Passed it will be though, because at the end of the day it's big business and the wider economy that counts more than ecology or environmental degradation.

This is happening right across the country, not just in RCT. It's as if these planners are in denial about climate change, or maybe they believe that it doesn't apply to developers and business interests.

Gordon Brown has now become a convert to the climate change lobby, though it remains to be seen how long it takes for his conversion to filter down to the likes of RCT council planners. Milliband has also called for an 80% reduction in CO2 output, but is this too just another sop for the gullible masses?

RCT council over the years has come up with environmental schemes that gain a lot of publicity in the local press. Documents are published and plans are displayed to show to the general public that they are so lucky to have such an enlightened council to care for their environments, and how that same council will listen to the concerns of the people and act accordingly.

That's far from the truth though. It doesn't happen like that, and the developers once again are given the green light to carry out their schemes, in the process of which we all lose.

It's a situation that causes despair, cynicism and apathy when the views of the people are seen to be thus ignored. I wish you all the best, SBWC, but you're on to a hiding to nothing here. You are going to be fighting myopia, vested interests and downright ignorance about the real situation with regards to our environment and ecology.

Like it or not, climate change, environmental degradation and extinction of species are real and are happening right now. Unfortunately, our planners are carrying on business as usual in complete denial. Maybe they don't have children to worry about, or somehow they think that the ravages of the coming reaction of the Earth's climate to our activities will have no effect on them, and they'll escape the worst.

Who knows why it is they act with such blindness? Still, I'm sure that the next environmental initiative by RCT council will look good in the local press.

I was told by a certain councilor, to "look at the wider picture," I said the wide picture i'm looking at is a greatt big chasm with ducks, swans, coots, canada geese, all being sucked into it, then filled full of concrete and painted green ,the colour being chosen for its environmental correctness.
What really shocked me though was the musical blaspheme of y ddraenen with regards to the EAGLES. Good God man have you no shame? Forget about these silly little buildings being erected and spend a month locked in your bedroom up to your ears in the EAGLES, I'LL LEND YOU A FEW CD'S AND I'M SURE OV 666 WILL AS WELL, dont come out until you can sing Hotel California in Welsh, BACKWARDS!! I am a little biased, i think they're rather good myself.Sorry to go of topic, just trying to inject a little humour, much requested I might add.LOL!ATB, Billy Barnowl

Sorry, DMJ, but I did give the Eagles a hearing many moons ago but just couldn't hack it with them. I was really into that West Coast sound: Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Gram Parsons, but the Eagles did nothing for me.

I'm an old blues man really, with Tom Waits, Bob Dylan and British guitarists Bert Jansch and Davy Graham thrown in for good measure. That's because I'm a guitarist myself. It's horses for courses I'm afraid. It's whatever turns you on, but in my case, the Eagles couldn't do it. Still, who are my to argue with those who are right into them?

It's true what you said though about the councillor's remark about the bigger picture. Unfortunately for us all, these councillors are about as capable of seeing the big picture as Stevie Wonder is of seeing himself in his shaving mirror! They like to think that they are wiser than the rest of us, but they've no idea about the implications and the wide view of their decisions.

They'll allow hundreds of trees to be cut down to build housing estates, then call those streets after the very trees they've seen cut down. I remember the campaign with school kids to "plant a tree in RCT". That was some years ago, but now this council's motto is, "let's devastate in 2008" or words to that effect.

crosby, stills nash, young, were great with brilliant harmonies, thanks in no small part to graham nash formerly of the hollies, i also liked bb king, howlin wolf and the like.Forgot to mention Stevie Ray Vaughan, a wonderful guitarist.

With all this global flooding I understand that the developers on this site have risen the ground level to develop the site as I have said before where is the flood water going to go?

Below is an extract from a Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council Planning Application Section 77
Town and Country Planning Act 1990
Mrs R C Sullivan
Land Formerly Known as The Botanical Beer Bottling Store
East of The Paddocks, Aberaman, Aberdare.

Part of the report for land adjoining development site.
I accept that it would be possible to raise the site level out of reach of flood water, but potentially this would take up storage space within the flood plain. I acknowledge that this would be a minimal requirement. However, if such a loss is considered acceptable it could be used as a precedent to accept other projects which would result in lost storage volume.

Cumulatively such incremental loss could have serious consequences for the flood regime of the Afon Cynon and cause a rise in flood water levels elsewhere in the river valley.[p5.3]

There are many ways to look at this site the first from someone who loves the countryside & in particular this site ecologically very important for nesting birds & visitors migrating grasshopper warblers /willow tits/ kingfishers the list goes on we cannot keep on destroying habitats like this of course it looks a mess its a wild area the many times we go there to bird watch we see many people walking the area with or without their dogs enjoying what,s there if you need to know more I suggest you and the members of the council read the book birding in Glamorgan page 100 it gives a good description of the land & what,s there.
Secondly would anyone want to live in an area that floods no matter how much filling in is done with global warming the problem is getting worse as we have seen all over the country building on that land is I feel courting disaster ,furthermore as already pointed out where will the water go on already swollen rivers I think not ,it could be a worlds first to have a floating concrete hospital I also think the council need to be aware of this also as already pointed out, what about the extra traffic have, the planners thought about the roads how about the problem with traffic jams on the roundabouts if this happens people will think twice about shopping in Aberdare Ive seen this happen before We do all of our shopping in Aberdare we find the town superb for the variety of shops the people are great parking superb a good indoor market I feel that if the council dont get this right it could become a ghost town of sorts I for one dont want to come into an area where traffic is a problem I might as well stay in Treherbert & I know many feel the same as I do !!!

ChapSimon® ‏@ChapSimon 1m
@RCTCouncil Re:flooding in Aberdare; raising of datum level at Ynys and Asda development is to blame #lostfloodplain

Flooding TIRFOUNDER FIELDS. 1960 taken from RCTC website

Hope this @RCTCouncil defence (blocking a right of way) reassures the estate behing Asda #Aberdare #UKStorm

It might be possible to raise the surface level of the site out of danger of known flood levels, but this would take up water storage volume within the flood plain.

Land Formerly Known as The Botanical Beer Bottling Store
East of The Paddocks, Aberaman, Aberdare.
File ref: APP/L6940/X/05/514687

The above application refused on appeal but planning was granted the other side of the river for houses and commercial use

On the opposite side of the river from the appeal site there are large flat areas of undeveloped ground indicative of a floodplain. The A4059 which is to the west of the site provides a degree of separation between the conurbation on its western side and the undeveloped land of the river valley on its eastern side.

Structure Plan – The Mid Glamorgan (Rhondda Cynon Taff) Replacement Structure Plan (Part of the Development Plan).
3.2 Policy EV1 restricts development in the countryside. Policy EV12 states that development at risk of flooding or likely to increase flood risk will not be permitted. Policy H2 restricts housing development in the countryside to special needs only, and subject to criteria including prevention of coalescence of settlements.

3.4 TAN 15, paragraph 5.1 (Fig 2) describes all residential premises as highly vulnerable development in the context of flood danger. The site is classed as being within an area of floodplain, without significant flood defence infrastructure, defined as C2. Paragraph 6.2 of the TAN states that highly vulnerable development and emergency services in zone C2 should not be permitted.

5. The Case for the Environment Agency Wales (EAW)
The material points are:

5.1 The site is next to the river and is not protected by any flood defences. Immediately south of the site there is an existing bridge crossing the Afon Cynon where there is a potential for localised flooding in the event of trees or other flood debris accumulating on the pier of this structure.

5.2 The site is located within zone C2 of the Assembly Government’s development advice maps, issued in support of Technical Advice Note 15. Development and Flood Risk (July 2004) (TAN15). Zone C is described in TAN

15 as the “extreme flood outline, equal to or greater than 0.1%, and Zone C2 as “Areas of floodplain without significant flood defence infrastructure”, where “emergency service and highly vulnerable development should not be considered”. Highly vulnerable development includes all residential development.

5.3 In addition to its location within zone C2, the site lies within the 1% (1 in 100 year) flood plain of the Afon Cynon; this is supported by studies and river models undertaken by EAW.

The EAW’s historical records identify flooding of this site during previous flood events. It is estimated that the 1% flood event would produce river levels of 116.230mAOD against a site level of about 116.248 to 116.385mAOD. There is little room for error. It might be possible to raise the surface level of the site out of danger of known flood levels, but this would take up water storage volume within the flood plain. It is accepted that this would result in minimal increase in height of flood water, but no information has been submitted to assess its impact. Furthermore, no Flood Consequences Assessment (FCA) has been submitted to demonstrate the height of any flood with a potential return period of 0.1% (1 in 1000 year).