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Public Meeting Wednesday 16th May 2007

Statement by Nelson Action Group 

Nelson residents have opposed and development on the 47 acres of green fields, now known as the Ty-Du site since it appeared on the council's pre-unitary development plan in the late 1980's. Our main concern at that time was the loss of the miner's welfare ground, it's 7 acre sitting in the center of the site.

An independent inspectors inquiry, held in this hall, concluded that no development should be allowed until every leisure facility it has held was replicated elsewhere in the village. 

The welfare ground contained:

Football field and changing rooms (now replicated at the edge of the new park Wern Cres and Springfield terrace.)
A well equipped Children's play area, large grasses area with seating, paddling pool, toilets and covered seating (partly replicated in the new park.)
Bowling green (the finest in the county), pavilion with table tennis equipment and provision of refreshments.
Tennis courts.
Putting green.
Walking area with seating.

One and a half of these facilities out of six have been replicated so far.
 
In spite of this decision, the area appeared in the Rhymney Valley District council's unitary development plan.

The first planning application was in 1995 by the WDA. This to erect a massive plateau with one or two developers.

After a public meeting held here, and a representative of the WDA assuring is that they would never carry out and development against the wishes of local residents, the nelson action group was formed and a coach load of residents presented a 2000 plus signature petition to the then conservative minister at the Welsh Office. The Welsh Office declined to call in the application.

At the planning meeting, the officers recommended the application by be allowed. The case against this decision was put to councilors and the first vote was in our favor. However the chairman promptly called for a second and finally and third vote, which was tied. The chairman voted to get this decision, the used his casting vote to carry the officer recommendation. We still wonder whether this decision was legal.

At that time we had the support of the huge majority of Nelson residents, and our MP. We have worked unceasingly in many and varied ways to save this area, even going to the High Court in an attempt to regain the Miners' Welfare ground as our "Village Green". This battle we lost on a technicality dating back to the 1940's. Sadly, we were no match for the WDA's barristers.

Our latest attempt to save our green fields was to force the prospective developer to undertake environmental impact assessments, after reading Caerphilly County Borough Council's biodiversity plan. We pointed out that since 1995, Trafalgar Park has been massively extended, Meadow View completely developed, and many housing sites appeared in and around the village.

The purpose of Nelson Action Group in calling this meeting is to ascertain whether Nelson residents wish to continue efforts to object to this recently proposed development, on what is now our only green field area throughout the village.

There are, and always have been, good planning reasons for objecting. Traffic being only one.

Do we wish to carry on the battle?