Northern Meadows FAQs
Where else can it be built?
- As an extension to the current Velindre Hospital, causing the least disruption to patients and residents.
- A rebuild on the Whitchurch Hospital site, on ‘section k’ (see map), where planning was granted for a 200 bed hospital (the new centre is for 42 beds only).
- With the new Heath Hospital. In a public meeting the lead for the Heath Hospital rebuild (due to start in 2023) offered Velindre space to be alongside Cardiff Uni cancer research. It is considered to be best practice for oncology departments to be alongside larger hospitals, as they can provide emergency or specialist care quicker and easier.
Why aren’t they doing that?
Velindre University Health Board are swapping their current land (Whitchurch hospital site) for the meadow land, which is the property of Cardiff and Vale Health Board. It’s a land swap to build houses and make money.
The meadow land is inaccessible for housing as building access bridges will cost at least £30 million. By swapping the land, the health boards are making a profit. By moving the hospital to the meadow, the health boards are able to access Welsh government funds, which are paying for the construction of the access bridges (that £30 million is tax payers money).
Then, C&VHB have the planning permission (granted in 1999) shall use the Whitchurch Hospital land to build houses.
Everyone wins other than the residents of Whitchurch, who shall lose their green space and find hundreds of flats, houses, offices and retail units open in their back garden without any consultation.
Won’t they build houses on the Meadow instead?
No. There are no roads to the Meadow.
This view is repeated by politicians who are threatened by planning permission granted in 1999, that would see the land look like this:
In the 20 years since provisional planning permission was granted no roads have been constructed to the meadow as it would be to costly. However if the access roads planned to go ahead and then Velindre change their mind, the above vision for housing on the meadow could go ahead.
So what’s happening now?
Residents from across Cardiff have been battling development here for 25 years.
1995 – first application (95/1195/N) submitted and declined.
1999 – public inquiry and recommendation to grant appeal.
2001 – appeal and planning officially granted.
2005 – application renewed (05/02689/W)
2010 – application renewed (10/02301/DCO)
2016 – application renewed (16/01530/MJR)
2017 – Velindre were granted planning permission for their build by one vote at the planning committee (17/01357/MJR). This includes the two access bridges and the temporary access road for 9 months.
Their plan assumed access from the north via Asda (underneath Cardiff’s largest heronry)
Their plan and EIA described the meadow as scrub*. The ecologist report highlighted the land as having high importance for biodiversity.
2018 Asda denied Velindre 24/7 access. Velindre are reverting to a plan previously deemed unfeasible – putting 100+ HGVs every day on roads for 4 years around whitchurch and using access through the Hollybush estate and old hospital site (elements of care still in use there)
2020 – A new application for renewal of 95/1195/N was made this year – 20/00357/MJR. We have been working hard to oppose this from being granted again.
Two new applications have also been submitted to amend the granted access road permissions – 20/01108/MJR (Asda access road amendments) and 20/01110/MJR (Temporary access road extension of working period from 9 to 48 months).
Key Issues with the development:
It is based on a 20 year old pre planning permission. The plans that we are seeing now reflect the vision for development Cardiff Council want to see in Whitchurch, that they are trying to implement without consultation of local people.
Although consultation has gone ahead re the meadow (with strong local opposition to any construction on the site), there has been no evidence of communication over application 20/00357/MJR, that will see houses in Whitchurch Hospital. This gives Velindre the ‘housing or hospital’ line, when in reality it should be Hospital and Meadow.
The development does not meet the:
- Environment Wales Act (2016)
- Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016
- Future Gen Act (2015)
- Planning Policy Wales 10 (2018)
- It is not in the adopted Local Development Plan (2016)
Further, it undermines numerous international conventions such as:
- The Rio Convention
- The Convention on Biological Diversity
- The UN Convention for the Rights of the Child
An EIA was complete in 2017 – but is clearly not representative of the diversity of the meadow (5000 wildlife records) nor inclusive of the wider developments.
28 planning applications relate to Whitchurch Hospital site. All developments in this area should be considered as 1 site, as was initially granted
What can you do?
- Join Save the Northern Meadows FB group and like our facebook page to keep up to date. Or find out more information at
- Object to the two planning applications (find templates on our website)
- Support the CALL IN of the applications by emailing the 4 Welsh gov officials the open letter is addressed to.
- TURN UP BE HEARD – Saturdays 11 at the meadow
- Join a Meadows’ team to help organise
The protection of the Meadows’ are supported by numerous local and national organisations and NGOs, as well as direct action groups.
10,000 have signed a petition calling for it to be stopped.
250+ turned up to have their voice heard – Stand Up to the Meadow 20th June 2020
Politicians are failing us.
The planning process is failing people across Cardiff and South Wales.
At the expense and detriment of those of us who have no or limited access to open space, parks or nature near our already congested city.
We stand with communities opposing:
Brittania Park, Leckwith developments, sanatorium park, Ely bridge developments, Danescourt woods, The Northern Meadow, Radyr.