Page last updated at 17:13 GMT, Wednesday, 1 October 2008 18:13 UK

Villagers' demo over airport link

Aspects of the Ely valley. (Photo courtsey Matthew Rees)
The proposed link road would cut through the Ely Valley

Residents of a village praised by the Prince of Wales for its community spirit were among a protest over plans for a three-lane road past their homes.

Prince Charles described Pendoylan in the Vale of Glamorgan as "wonderfully functioning" during a visit in 2005.

Campaigners say a proposed link road to Cardiff Airport would damage a number of communities across the area.

They lobbied senior councillors, who want assurances the council will be involved in decisions and ongoing work.

Nevar members (ltor) Richard Rees, Matthew Rees, Helen Bull, Ruth Rees and Linda James
Member of Nevar protested as the council's cabinet met

The council is being consulted by the Welsh Assembly Government as part of a study aimed at improving access to the airport and easing congestion around Culverhouse Cross. The consultation ends on Friday.

Members of No Ely Valley Airport Access Road (Nevar) held a protest outside the Vale of Glamorgan council's headquarters in Barry.

The planned airport link road through the area from the M4 to the airport near Rhoose has three options.

One of these includes a bypass at Pendoylan, cutting through local countryside.

In addition to praise from Prince Charles, the village has won the best kept village in Wales award three times and the Vale's own award 17 times.

Nicole Davies, a biologist and Pendoylan resident, said the dispersed lay-out of the village did not stop people from sharing a community spirit when work needed doing.

She said: "There is a sense of cohesion there. Everyone chooses to live there because it is one of the last unspoilt villages in an area close to Cardiff.

"[The proposed road] would destroy the valley. It would be a lot of money spent on something for which there is no demand."

John Oakley with a view of Pendoylan from his land

I would prefer it not to go through my property but if we all had that attitude, nothing would get built - we've all got to make sacrifices

John Oakley, resident

Another resident, Richard Rees, said: "I will be one of the most affected. It would go through the bottom of my land."

The Welsh Assembly Government has said improved access to the airport is necessary otherwise congestion around Culverhouse Cross junction and on the A4232 Cardiff Bay link road will worsen.

But Nevar says the assembly's government's claim that 5% of traffic at Culverhouse Cross is airport-related is "suspiciously round" and "remains unsubstantiated".

The Vale of Glamorgan council said it took the consultation exercise very seriously.

"(It) has taken the opportunity to refer to the fact that there are a number of issues for WAG (Welsh Assembly Government) to consider in progressing options," said a spokesperson for the council.

"In this regard, the council has sought an assurance that it will be involved in ongoing work and decisions."

The other two options involve an improvements of existing roads and a by-pass for St Nicholas.

However, at least one Pendoylan resident says he would accept a link road through his land if it was necessary.

Retired civil and structural engineer John Oakley, 67, said: "I understand why people are so upset, it's such a beautiful valley.

"I would prefer it not to go through my property but if we all had that attitude, nothing would get built. We've all got to make sacrifices, unpleasant as they are.

"This makes sense when it's for the betterment of Wales as a whole and the Vale of Glamorgan in particular."


SEE ALSO
Airport road 'to be rejected'
21 Oct 03 |  South East Wales
Camilla feels the heat on tour
14 Jul 05 |  South East Wales

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