Proposed by Councillor Mike Jones-Pritchard
Seconded by Councillor Mia Rees
Cardiff’s LDP and SPGs, including the Planning Obligations SPG, cover, in detail, the provision of Open Space and set the council’s approach to open space provision.
The LDP requires provision of a satisfactory level, and standard, of open space on all new housing/student developments, or an off-site contribution towards existing open space, for smaller scale developments where new on-site provision is not applicable.
Regularly, particularly on smaller scale developments, S106 contributions are agreed towards the maintenance/provision of open space in the vicinity of the site. The instances of these monies going to the provision of new open space is rare and population densities are seen to increase, in existing communities, without the provision of compensatory additional open space.
The experience of the last twelve months has shown the needs of people for contact with nature, with increased use of our city’s parks and open spaces, that Cardiff reputedly once had more of per person than other cities. Yet, these 106 funds are rarely provide for additional space for people to sit in a green area and see more trees, flowers, grass and shrubbery. These new spaces don’t need to be large or expensive, just open and accessible for people and be green! The UK government is funding 12 tiny forest projects, each the size of a tennis court and it is known that people don’t have to be able necessarily to access open space, just see it and know it’s there, for it to improve their wellbeing. Such new small areas, or corridors, of open space would also help biodiversity, with pollinators visiting and more trees locking in CO2 as well as helping to improve air quality. These spaces could be corner plots, vacant or redundant sites, part of a car park or back land spaces and could be provided in conjunction with other land owners, including religious buildings and third sector providers.
This council calls on the cabinet to bring forward proposals to prioritise more of the funding available, to create new open spaces in Cardiff’s communities, benefiting from S106 money, with those spaces located where residents of all ages can see and use them to improve both the environment and their wellbeing. Such proposals to be produced within six months.