Radyr Sidings Residents’ Association
Welcome to the Sidings Residents’ Association’s pages
17 May 2017
We’d like to share with you all a number of recent developments regarding the estate. We would very much welcome your feedback on these issues.
Update on adoption process
The roads and other communal areas of the estate continue to progress through “adoption” to transfer responsibility from Taylor Wimpey to the Council. Taylor Wimpey have appointed a company called JLES, which specialises in completion of developers’ sites prior to transfer to the Council. They effectively act as an intermediary between the Council and developer, agreeing the outstanding work to be completed, submitting a report to the developer along with costs for carrying out the work and then arranging for the work to be completed.
The Council is currently awaiting a defects report from JLES, which we hope will be shared with residents for comment before it is finalised, so that we can make sure it captures all work that needs to be undertaken.
In addition, Welsh Water has agreed to the adoption of the storm pipe running through the estate. All the manholes on site have now been passed fit for adoption by Welsh Water and all pipework should now have been surveyed.
Should you have any comments or particular issues concerning the communal areas, please do let us know, so we can ensure that this is included in the remedial works to be completed as part of the adoption.
River bank maintenance
With Spring upon us, there have been a number of concerns raised regarding the very overgrown area of land sloping down to the river bank on the South-Eastern edge of the estate. This was originally intended to be wildflower grassland, with some trees and scrub, and the current overgrown state is clearly not what was envisaged. The Council has been working on establishing the best approach to short term and long term management. This is likely to have two prongs:
1. Treatment of invasive species
Regular treatment of Japanese knotweed, Giant Hogweed and other invasive species. This will need to be done annually as the presence of the river makes complete eradication of these very difficult. From examination on site, treatment of the knotweed by Taylor Wimpey is evident but significant amounts remain, some of it obscured by vegetation. There does appear to be a good buffer between the knotweed and properties, which must be maintained.
2. Clearance and management of scrub vegetation
Widescale clearance of scrub (buddleia, brambles, and other species) on an annual basis to clear views from properties, allow wildflower meadow to develop and expose any invasive species to allow more effective treatment. Long term management would need to be in discussion with the Conversation Officer to ensure that the bank provides a good level of wildlife habitat as it forms part of an important corridor along the river.
The Council hopes to share with us their management plan so residents can feed in. In the meantime, it would be really helpful to have your feedback on the following:
a) if you spot any giant hogweed, please let us know of its exact location (if you can, mark it on a map of the area). Please do not touch it or try to remove it yourself, as it can cause severe skin burns.
b) please let us know if you have any views on whether the trees planted at the top of the bank should be retained or removed.
Councellor McKerlich has informed us that a housing association is contemplating 37 units of various sizes on the undeveloped site currently owned by Network Rail. He has already registered a concern (given the number of bedrooms) that this would lead to insufficient school provision in the catchment as well as making parking congestion greater.
Although we recognise that this piece of land will have some value to Network Rail which they will want to maximise, we as a committee have so far identified the following additional concerns:
1. Additional traffic down De Clare Drive, as we are already over the agreed number of houses served by the access.
2. Additional traffic/parking problems in the long run given the anticipated increased traffic to and from the station.
3. Safety issues at the entrance to the estate, especially around the Goetre Fawr/De Clare Drive junction, as well as the Kings Road/Kings Ave, Kings Road/Heol Isaf junctions.
4. The amount of disruption likely to be caused during construction in the middle of a residential development, e.g. traffic, noise, dust, vibration, damage to roads and footpath, risk of damage to property and vehicles, parking, lorries turning and parking up, visual intrusion (privacy issues), etc.
5. Potential change of use from original planning permission for a residential care home – could have impact on things like noise levels.
6. Environmental – does this really fit with the planning objectives set-out when the estate was first envisaged – layout, mix of housing and so on.
The Community Council Environment Committee has been given a budget to install various planters around the village and would like for some to be placed at the Sidings. The suggestion is for two planters to be installed either side of the bench in the children’s play area. Whilst the Community Council will fund the planters, these will require maintaining – essentially some watering throughout the summer months.
In addition, there are small grants available from the Community Council to contribute towards things like flowers, other plants and equipment, to improve the greenery in community areas. It has been suggested that with a little bit of gardening and TLC, our green areas could look much more vibrant and inviting.
Would any residents like to volunteer to assist with maintaining the planters and/or improving our green areas? Neither would require too much effort, and both could make our communal areas look much nicer. Please let us know if you would be interested and we can try and co-ordinate effort.
As usual, please let us know if you have any other comments about the estate or if you would like to become more involved with the association. We are always keen to engage with residents, and we aim to represent your views, so we are happy to hear from everyone.
24 October 2016
The Association continues to listen to and represent the voices of the residents of the Sidings estate, in collaboration with our local councillor, Rod McKerlich.
We have been liaising with Network Rail in relation to the maintenance of the “plot”, with a view to improving its aesthetics as well as safety while Network Rail continue their attempts to sell this piece of land.
In addition, we continue our dialogue with Taylor Wimpey and Cardiff Council in relation to the maintenance of the common areas of the estate, including the road surfaces, street lighting and the overgrown river bank area. The adoption process is under way, but the timeframe for completion is not yet known.
Finally, we continue to keep an eye on developments around Radyr station, and seek to minimise any detrimental impact on the estate. Further information about the current plans is available in English and Welsh.
We welcome any comments or queries from residents — please email us at: email@example.com
The 2015 Annual General Meeting of the Sidings Residents’ Association will take place at the Old Church Rooms, in the Garth Room on Monday 30 November, starting promptly at 7:30pm.
- Welcome & overview
- Report on past year’s activities:
- Streetlights, green areas and other Taylor Wimpey matters
- The “plot”
- Proposed changes to Radyr Station and vicinity
- Likely activities in the coming year
- Committee for 2015/16
To expand on some of these items a little further:
Proposed changes to Radyr station
The committee has very recently become aware of plans by Network Rail to redevelop the station and the immediate surroundings. The plans include:
- upgrading the station office
- converting the derelict piece of land between the station and the bridge to a car park, to increase parking provision from the current 122 spaces to a total of 235 spaces
- installing additional lighting columns with floodlighting
- installing additional CCTV cameras
- adding cycle parking facilities for 5 or 6 bikes
- potentially introducing a new bus service direct to the station, accessing via King’s Road.
We understand that as Network Rail owns much of the land in question, they are not required to go through the usual planning application process. However, they do need to comply with Highways legislation and Health & Safety laws.
It is currently not clear to us how advanced these plans are or when they propose to begin work. Our main concern at the moment is to ensure that residents are properly consulted on the plans and that we have the opportunity to feed in any concerns we might have. The R&M Community Council is writing to Cardiff Council and Network Rail to formally request that people in Radyr are consulted on this scheme. We will keep you updated with any further developments on this issue as we become aware.
In the meantime, we would welcome your initial views on these proposals. If possible, please send your thoughts through by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we have the opportunity to consider them in advance of the AGM.
Committee for 2015/16
The current committee is:
Eszter Horvath-Papp – chair
Mark Ellis – secretary
Kevin Wright – general
Jon Wallis – general
All are happy to stand again for their roles.
However, we would very much encourage others to get involved. This is a relaxed and flexible group and there are no pre-requisites for taking part. We are all just ordinary residents like you, who care about our environment and community. We all have lives to be getting on with and it would be great to have more of us to share the work in dealing with any issues that arise and to communicate with all the residents.
If possible, please let us know in advance if you would like to stand for any particular role on the committee, but you can also decide to stand on the night. Please come prepared to say a few words about yourself to assist with the elections.
To help us manage time on the night, it would be helpful if you could let us know in advance if there is anything in particular you would like to raise in the AGM. This doesn’t, however, prevent issues being raised on the night.
Finally, thank you to everyone’s support throughout this past year and we look forward to seeing many of you on the 30th.
We are pleased to report that there has been a helpful and constructive meeting between the Council and Taylor Wimpey on the estate to discuss and agree a plan of action in relation to the various issues affecting the estate.
We understand it was a positive meeting and they identified the scope of remedial works to all the open space areas on the site to bring them up to an appropriate standard. Taylor Wimpey will be providing a programme for the completion of the outstanding works and rectification of defects.
The Play Area
Work has now started on removing the grassed areas within the children’s play area, and replacing them with tarmac. The intention is to complete this work prior to the school summer holidays. This will mean that the park will be closed for approximately one week, though hopefully still within term time.
The rest of the work on the central open space (eg, remedial work to the poor surface preparations and soil spread) will then take place throughout the summer months and Taylor Wimpey has promised to keep disruption to a minimum.
In addition, there was significant discussion in relation to the Japanese knotweed problem on the river bank leading up to the edge of the estate. Taylor Wimpey confirmed that there had been a programme of spraying which has lapsed in recent years. However, a spraying regime will be established as soon as possible to follow the current best practice, and Taylor Wimpey has engaged a landscape contractor and a weed control specialist to produce a strategy for the management of this area. This will be provided to the Council for their approval, along with a tree survey and timescales for completion of the works. Be aware that any robust solution will take two to three years to work.
We are still looking to arrange our own meeting with Taylor Wimpey on the estate, but in the meantime it is good to see that some concrete steps are being taken to bring the estate into line with what was originally envisaged. We will circulate further details when we receive them. Please get in touch with us if you have any comments on the proposals or if you have any feedback once the works are started.
If you’d like us to keep you informed of what the Association’s doing, please ask us to add you to our mailing list by emailing us. (We won’t pass your email address on to anyone else, and we’ll only be sending occasional emails.)