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Last Updated: Friday, 14 March 2008, 07:11 GMT
Bute Park road angers campaigners
Cardiff council's work at Bute Park
Protesters claim the council has started work without permission
Green campaigners claim the peace and tranquillity of Cardiff's Bute Park is in danger of disappearing amid council plans to improve its access.

They are opposed to Cardiff Council's plans for a new service road to the park off North Road.

Protesters claim the council has started work on the access road before planning permission has been granted.

The council says this is not the case and the work underway at the park site is part of routine tree maintenance.

A planning application to create a dedicated road and 9m wide bridge for council vehicles and articulated lorries is due to be decided by council officials on Wednesday, 19 March.

The proposed entrance is opposite Corbett Road and would be used for event and delivery purposes.

Bute Park is a beautiful, peaceful place in the heart of Cardiff which we need to protect
Protester Anne Greagsby

Council workers have already removed and trimmed several trees in the area which it says is part of regular park maintenance.

However, protesters say they believe the work is part of the proposed new entrance and that the council has started before planning permission has been granted.

An online petition has been set up to oppose the council's entrance plans gaining more than 300 signatures in its first 24 hours and asking protestors to turn out in force at next week's planning committee meeting.

Anne Greagsby, from Rhiwbina, Cardiff, is behind the campaign. She said she believed the whole area will soon be stripped of trees destroying the area's natural beauty.

"They claim they had to take these trees down because they were diseased and that it's all part of routine maintenance," said the Green Party and Friends of the Earth activist.

Heart of Cardiff

"That's complete nonsense, who do they think they are kidding. Do they think we were born yesterday or is it April the first already?

"They haven't even waited to get planning permission and not giving the planning process any due regard.

"Bute Park is a beautiful, peaceful place in the heart of Cardiff which we need to protect.

"If the council needs to clear and remove trees for event purposes then maybe it's a better idea to move the events somewhere else and let us keep the trees in tact."

The council denies is has started without gaining the proper permission and said the proposed application had been subjected to wide public consultation.

A spokesman said trees had been removed because they posed a danger to the public and the exact number affected by the new entrance would be made public at next week's planning committee.

"The preservation of the beauty in Cardiff parks is as important to us as the enjoyment of the open spaces is to the public," he said.

"A tree report is being prepared to be presented to the planning committee next week."

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