CLIMATE CHANGE SETBACK; Civic Society Says Plans Are Too Vague

Article excerpt

Byline: Ed Walker

A CHARITY committed to improving Cardiff's natural and built environment has criticised the council's new local development plan.

Cardiff Civic Society claims the Draft Sustainability and Environmental Impact Assessment fails to properly address the effect of climate change on the city's future.

The fresh criticism comes after campaigners in Monday's Echo accused the council's consultation on the new LDP as "non-existent" when only 100 people turned up to debate it at a series of meetings.

The society's chairman Peter Cox said: "Given that the document itself states that 'climate change is probably the greatest long-term challenge facing the human race, and is a serious and urgent issue', the council fails to outline in any tangible way how it will tackle this issue.

"Vague statements about promoting, helping, supporting and encouraging must be replaced by positive and action-oriented words like providing, ensuring and delivering.

"Consequently, there is not enough evidence on which to base protective measures like flood protection schemes in the event of water levels increasing and the anticipated risk is understated."

The new LDP is being written to explain how Cardiff will expand and develop in the next 20 years.

The previous LDP was thrown out by Assembly planning inspectors due to doubts over its "soundness" and fears the council had not properly considered flooding risks.

A Cardiff council spokesman said: "The Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SA/ SEA) assesses the sustainability performance and impacts of the LDP.

"This is not a policy document and it is for the LDP to set out how it intends to tackle climate change.

"The job of the SA/SEA is to assess proposed policies and make suggestions for improvement where this is required.

"These suggestions and changes to the LDP will then be made public. …