Big Sweeps across Pontcanna

Thanks to everyone who took part in #TheBigSweep in November and December.


It started with a notice pinned to a tree on Severn Grove ‘Shame on Cardiff Council for ignoring their road sweeping duties,’ and ended with 75 people cleaning the street one week later.

Cardiff residents in the leafy suburb of Pontcanna have been working with the council to make their streets safer. On November 21, 75 people, including residents, shops and Coop Pontcanna, took part in the first ‘The Big Sweep’. Co-organised by Fran O’Hara of @pontcannahub and labour councillor Caro Wild, Severn Grove, Conway, Llanfair and Turberville Road was swept, leaves bagged, and the bags then picked up by council trucks and cleaned the streets. The event was shared on twitter as #thebigsweep and now more streets have been inspired to sweep up too, a great example of the community working with the council…

  • 21 November – Severn Grove and Llanfair Road
  • 28 November – Plasturton Gardens, Place, Avenue & Pontcanna Street
  • 5 December – All of Conway Road, Pitman and Talbot Street

How it happened…
CTS-tE_W4AADs9xFran O’Hara saw a piece of paper pinned to a tree on Severn Grove saying ‘Shame on you Cardiff Council’ which she tweeted at @PontcannaHub, several people said they would be interested in cleaning the streets. She asked Caro, who met with the council the next day at 8.30am. They agreed to provide bags, trucks and street cleaners. Fran created a poster, tweeted it, put it in the Coop, @paul_seaman printed and put leaflets through 60 doors. After the first Big Sweep other streets contacted Caro Wild and Iona Gordon who co-ordinated more. The Coop Pontcanna team, New Conwy and Beverley supported the Big Sweep by supplying hot coffee and refreshments.

“These services have had cuts so we decided to do something about the streets, they had become dangerous for us to walk on, and even worse for the elderly’. It was great to see so many people come onto the street and clear up, making new friends and safer place to walk. So many people came up to us while we were sweeping, telling us stories of falling over, and not letting their kids use scooters because the pavements were so dangerous with the compacted leaves.”
Fran, Severn Grove resident, ‘The Big Sweep’ co-organiser

“It’s nice now that we don’t have to wear wellies to walk to our car! A great turnout and people are very happy to do it again”
Paul, Severn Grove resident

“How lovely it is to meet your neighbours, a nice morning to get together and clean the streets.”
James, Severn Grove resident

“A brilliant idea – I was out there with my broom.”
Flip Severn Grove resident

“We were very happy to help to clean up the streets and make it safer for everyone to walk”
Simon Allen-Ridge, Manager Coop Pontcanna

“Lots of local enthusiasm from Severn Grove for organising ’The Big Sweep’. Great to see so many residents working together to improve their community with the council supporting.”
Caro Wilde, Labour Councillor for Riverside

Protect Llandaff Fields! – Urgent Appeal for Donations & Action Meeting Notice

200px-Llandaff_Fields_pathMeeting on 21/01/14 has been postponed, over hlaf the money has been raised so far – thank you.

We’ve received this email and wanted to share so people could support this great campaign – PLEASE donate and also share – Llandaff Fields: once they’re gone they’re gone!

Dear Supporter,
Appeal for Donations and Notice of an Action Meeting

Happy New Year! We are writing to let you know what the ‘Hub’ has done so far and the challenge ahead to protect Llandaff Fields from privatisation.

Representatives from the Peoples’ Hub are meeting senior Council officers on January 23 to present our business plan to them. To persuade them we have a good case we have sought professional advice which does not come free. We need to raise over £1,000 immediately and hope you will be generous enough to help the ‘Hub’ meet this target.

We are suggesting a donation of £10 [or more if you wish]. When we set up a membership system this amount will cover your annual membership fee. The easiest way is to click on the link below which will enable you to put your donation into the ‘Hub’ bank account by ‘pay pal’

If you prefer cheque payment, please make it out to:  Llandaff Fields Peoples’ Hub. Make sure you put your name on the back of it and you can leave it in an envelope at Bant a la Cart, on Cathedral Road, or Café Castan at the Llandaff Fields Turning Circle.

If you would like to get more actively involved in the project do come to our open meeting on Tuesday 21st January, 7 pm, Llandaff Rugby Club House, Western Avenue

Best wishes,
Iona Gordon – On behalf of Llandaff Fields Peoples’ Hub Steeering Group
Tel: 029 2034 5213    Email:

Llandaff Fields Peoples’ Hub – the story so far……………………..

March 2012 – Freedom of Information document revealed plans, by an organisation called Llandaff Fields Community Trust, to build a large commercial facility on listed parkland – Llandaf Fields.

Research carried out by local residents worried about the park’s future revealed that the majority of the above organisation’s listed community supporters knew nothing of the plans, and many of the alleged supporters issued statements highlighting their opposition to such a large development on Llandaf Fields

April 2013 – Steering group set up with the aim of protecting Llandaf Fields from development

June 4 2013 – Public meeting held – Wallich packed to capacity 100+

July 2013 – awareness and fund-raising event: Community picnic 

September 1 2013 – 
The Big Picnic – massive community event attended by more than 1,000 people, held

Peoples’ Hub meeting with Cardiff Council and the ‘Trust’ regarding our respective proposals for Llandaf Fields
November 2012 – Meeting of partners / supporting organisations – 40 attended
– ‘Big  Lottery’ ‘ People and Places’ grant applied for
– Drawing up a constitution and bank account opened
– Appeal for donations to fund architect’s drawing for a small, sustainable, park-friendly building to replace the existing, run-down changing rooms.

Action meeting to be held Jan 21 2014 at Llandaff RFC – Hub to be formally constituted

Meeting with Council Jan 23 2014 to outline Hub’s latest plans


Co-Op at Pontcanna Pine/Dairy: FINAL PLANS APPROVED

Following this post the Council gave final full approval to the Co-Op’s Supermarket plans at Pontcanna Pine / The Dairy.

Simon White gave a powerful and professional appraisal of their plans, outlining the impact and issues. As the Co-Op had revised their plans to keep the existing gateway to the left of the building the council had no legal reason to object and HAD to approve it. The Co-Op will be using this gateway to reverse their delivery vans into and out of. Through using the ‘no change of use and building’ approach the Co-Op had not had to supply or account for any delivery or traffic plans. They will be able to gain the maximum profit from the site, basically open whenever they wish, without any responsibility for any negative impact outside their site. 

In the planning meeting the Co-Op were requested and agreed to take actions to repair relations with the local community, as the council noted there were a ‘lot of letters of complaint’ (thank you again for your support.)

To our knowledge they have not followed up on their written commitment to approach Flip White with any future developments after the community meeting, and we are not aware of any steps they have taken. In fact they appear to done the opposite and disregarded not just local people’s views but hard physical evidence – including the recent accident at the junction – that a dense use store with long opening hours may possibly increase traffic, and also cause increased congestion.

If the Co-Op have made steps and they wish to email us them we will be very happy to post an update on the site.

Thank you again for your support.

The Pontcanna Pine/Dairy Team.

😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦   

The Coop have put in revised plans for the frontage on Kings Road. We have until until the end of Wednesday 30 October to comment on these, comments sent for the last plans – where appropriate – will still be considered.

You can download and view these by clicking on the file names below:


They now propose to move the customer entrance to the centre accessed by two ramps either side with cycle stands at the front. The glass door is flanked by two panels of glass with signage above and the existing roller shutters are replaced by brick panels. We will post these new plans on the Pontcanna Hub website and of course they are available on the Council’s website:  Search for 13/01798/DCI .

The issue of deliveries, access and parking have still not been addressed so vehicles will have to reverse across the pavement into the side entrance near the junction frequently. We still have real concerns about these issues, the effect on the Conservation Area,  the impact of noise from refrigeration units on Severn Grove and the wider effect on local traders, which though not a valid planning issue, is of great concern to the quality of life how people live and walk around and drive/park in Pontcanna.

As these photos sent to us by a local resident show, it will make an already busy and grid-locked junction worse:


So if you have any concerns we think it is still well worth writing to object by 30 October 2013. The address is:

Development Management, City Development, City Hall, Cardiff, CF10 3ND or e-mail : / internet:

or the Council say it is recommended that you view the application details and make comments on their web site :

See below for text of e-mail received on 21/10/13

From: Edwards, Jane (Regulatory) [] 
Sent: 21 October 2013 11:31
Subject: AMENDED PLANS – 13/1798/DCI – 200 KINGS ROAD

Application No. / Rhif Cais:  13/01798/DCI
Date / Dyddiad: 21/10/2013
Please ask for/Gofynwwch am:   Amanda Sutcliffe
Telephone / Ffon:  (029) 2087 1298

Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (Wales) Order 2012 ______________________________________________________________________

Location:      200 KING’S ROAD, RIVERSIDE, CARDIFF, CF11 9DF
Applicant:     The Co-operative Group
Further to my previous letter notifying you of the above application, I have to advise you that amended plans have now been received. It is recommended that you view the application details and make comments on our web site :
You can look at the application and plans at the City Hall Reception (Main Entrance, Room 139) from 8.30 am to 4.45 pm Monday to Thursday and until 4.15 pm on Fridays.  Please quote the application reference number located at the top of the letter to reception staff. You will not necessarily be able to see a Planning Officer without an appointment.  The Rights to Speak at Committee are also available on our web site :

Please write to me within 10 days of the date of this letter if you have any comments that you wish the Council to take into account before a decision is made.

Please note that your letter will be open to public inspection.  Due to time and resource constraints, planning officers are not able to acknowledge receipt of correspondence or to respond in writing to any comments or queries made. You should enclose a stamped addressed envelope if you wish to be informed of the decision.

Yours faithfully, Phil Williams, HEAD OF PLANNING

PLEASE REPLY TO: Development Management, City Development, City Hall, Cardiff, CF10 3ND
(e-mail : (internet:

Co-op Supermarket at Pontcanna Pine/Dairy Site – FInal Plans


The Co-Op are already advertising their products directly outside Patel’s Post Office and store, showing their true colours – aiming to take custom from local stores.

The Coop were successful in getting a license to sell alcohol at the  proposed convenience store during the opening hours of 7am to 10pm, 7 days a week. They brought in a specialist licensing solicitor from Newcastle to put forward their case to the committee. Iona Gordon, our councillor spoke on our behalf alongside a number of residents and shopkeepers but to no avail. Thanks to Iona and the many who wrote in, and those who turned up to the meeting.

There was a lot of negative feeling at the session towards the Co-Op and the committee remarked on the large number of letters protesting against the appli. They asked the Co-Op to make actions to rebuild relations with the local community. This was only a recommendation, it cannot be enforced in anyway – to date we have received no communications regarding rebuilding community links since the Co-Op issued their plans for the 7 days a week 7am – 10pm store?

This is not the end of the story, though. The Coop still need to get planning permission for various works to convert the building- please see the proposals and our comments on this website. This needs urgent action.

 2) Pontcanna Pine/The Dairy- Current Planning Application – action needed before 17 October please.

The application for conversion of the premises to a convenience store at Pontcanna Pine/The Dairy has been submitted by the Co-op as expected.  They are using the small alley to the left of the building for deliveries and lorries will drive across the pavement at the corner near Severn Grove. You can see the full plans etc here: Plan 1  Plan 2  Plan 3  Plan 4 With an image of the front shown below, the proposals are for:

\LAPTOPUsersDavidDocumentsMy Wellsfield WorkPontcannaDraw

  • A new glass frontage on Kings Road, protected by bollards, with single door and access ramp.
  • An enlarged gated entrance on Kings Road for deliveries and maintenance to the side of the building.
  • Refrigerant and air conditioning units to the side behind the Severn Grove side wall with acoustic fencing.
  • A new profile steel roof to replace the asbestos roof.

There are no plans, details or provision for parking or deliveries on the street, no consideration or plans for how this will impact local people or businesses.

If you are still concerned that this proposal may be detrimental to the neighbourhood – particularly as it is in a Conservation Area, please write to the Council before 17 October 2013 stating your reasons, quoting 13/01798/DCI. The address is:

Phil Williams, Development Control, Cardiff County Council, City Hall, Cardiff, CF10 3ND

Thank you for your support patience and energy during this campaign.

Suburban Disco – ‘Dance til the stars come down from the rafters’

suburban disco Oct26Invitation from the great Steve and Chris Biddlecombe:
Dear Friend
Once more we are putting on a disco and hoping that you will be able to come along and have a damn good time dancing to music you love. We are at St Catherine’s Church Hall in King’s Road, Pontcanna, so nice and local and friendly.
We start early 7:30pm – though most people don’t turn up till after 8.00pm – and we finish early 11.00pm – so baby-sitters will be on the pre-midnight rate and we will be able to get our camomile tea and beauty sleep.
We provide a licensed bar with good quality beers and wines, we also provide spirits and soft drinks, and tea and coffee. We decorate the room with posters, pictures and album covers, we make an old tin shed look like a New York Nightclub (although it is a matter of opinion whether the nightclub is Studio 54 or CBGB’s).
We play music you will love and we take requests and suggestions.
We provide nibbles on each table and are happy to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other events with you and your friends.
In other words we provide a night out that people love in a local environment that is friendly and safe.
Please come and join us on Saturday 26th October – Steve and Chris

‘Suburban Disco – The Funk Returns’ on 28 September

1187073_589058801137621_41946119_nAfter running the lovely Mini-Womad in July which some of you may have attended – 400 people attended not mini at all! – Steve, Chris and the crew are back again with a Suburban Disco on 28 September at St Catherine’s Church Hall.

There’ll be the usual funky tunes, request playing, guest DJs and dancing. With alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and snacks, to get you in the mood for a great night out with your mates. You can just turn-up and pay on the door, £2.50.

For more info email Steve: – see you there!

The Big Picnic was BIG!

bp8Thank you to everyone who made the Big Picnic a huge success! More than 1,000 people joined the Llandaff Fields People’s Hub team on September 1 for ‘The Big Picnic’ on Llandaf Fields – making the most of the sunshine on the last day of the summer holidays.

Children flocked to the climbing wall and British Military Fitness’ junior assault course, while grown-ups-ups took part in drumming sessions, Tai Chi, Ultimate Bounce dance classes, pilates, yoga and tennis and visited the many stands. The Tug of War trophy was claimed by the Mochyn Du team, with the New Conway taking second prize.

Llandaff Fields People’s Hub was formed to protect Llandaf Fields from development and commercialisation. A public meeting held on June 4, and attended by 150 people, established that park users want no further development of green space.The LF People’s Hub aims to raise money to replace the run-down changing rooms on the Fields with a low-impact, sedum-roofed, single storey structure appropriate to a listed parkland setting.

“Economic cuts are threatening councils’ ability to maintain green spaces so, as park users, we have come together to forestall any transfer of public assets into private hands. We wish to avoid commercialisation and development on our priceless green spaces, and to protect and enhance them for future generations to enjoy as we do now. The Big Picnic, despite the fun and games, has a serious message about the loss of public green space.  Maps show that more than a third of our central parkland has been lost since the 1940s and much of that erosion is recent. The destruction of parkland has to stop.” explains Mike Chubb.

One of the main reasons for having the Big Picnic was to update people on the plans and to ask people if they would like to join the Llandaff Fields Peoples Hub mailing list, we can then keep you informed about future events and also updates on any plans. If you would like to join please

The Big Picnic was supported by many business close to the Fields including Chris John, Hern & Crabtree, Jeff Hopkins, Café Castan, Allen & Harris, Bute Parks Alliance, Belle Toujours and the Cooperative. Thanks to everyone who volunteered and helped run the event, including picking up the litter, hardly any!

For further information please email Press information: Nerys Lloyd-Pierce – 07701 007 128.

Pictures show: 1. Mabli Phillips 5 from Cathays with Mum and Dad – Katherine and Tomos, and brother Osian 1 2. Nanw Jones 6, from Victoria Park on the climbing wall. 3. Tug of War trophy winners – the Mochyn Du pub in Sophia Gardens

Come to ‘The Big Picnic’ Llandaff Fields, on Sunday 1 September

Layout 1
On Sunday 1 September, from 12pm to 5pm, the Llandaff Fields People’s Hub committee are organising a BIG PICNIC in Llandaff Fields. This is going to be a FABULOUS community event and the organisers would like to get over 1000 people – they need you to come along to make it happen!
There will be lots of children’s activities and many for adults too, plus great music. Tell your family and friends and come along to celebrate our wonderful people’s park. If you wish to print out or share information about the event please click on: Big Picnic Poster and Why BIg Picnic? Info Leaflet red words to download pdf files.
For more information or to get involved please email:

FROM MIKE CHUBB/people’s park via LINKEDIN

“Cardiff Council, given their ongoing financial crisis, are now to hive off as many of their non statutory services as they can. This includes Llandaff Fields in Pontcanna. A voluntary committee representing over 150+ local people (see read our Llandaff Fields Protest meeting post) have been tasked to develop existing facilities in Llandaff Fields, as the Council are to hive off this responsibility due to budget cuts. We, the Committee, are determined to keep the fields in public hands… there is an an offer from a private sector group that include amongst others: a road, a large car park and a private members’ bar and removing the tennis courts… Which we feel is both inappropriate to the setting but also against the intent of the gift to Cardiff of the fields.”

To raise the profile of our aim, we are undertaking an event on Sunday 1 September in Llandaff Fields, 12.00 to 5.00pm The idea behind The Big Picnic is to create a day of activity free for the community. We invite you to the biggest picnic in Cardiff (bring your own by the way!) and to ask if there might be any sponsors out there who would like to support our cause.

Layout 1People’s Park would like to thank their sponsors for their valuable support, and Andy Dark for his generous voluntary time in producing the poster:

logos horzon

They are looking for help with:
                          –  setting up 10 am  – 12 noon
                          –  packing up 5 – 6 pm
                          –  stewarding 12 noon – 2.30 pm
                          –  stewarding  2.30 – 5.00 pm   
                          –  assistance with the tug of war 2 – 3 pm 
                          –  staffing the Peoples’ Hub information tent
Please can you email Iona Gordon if you can at: Then will then draw up some rotas and arrange a briefing meeting for everyone who has volunteered. 

Your chance to comment on Cardiff’S 20MPH Scheme


Cardiff Council hope that introducing 20mph speed limits will improve road safety in the city, make it easier for people to walk and cycle, increase sociability and generally make Cardiff a nicer place to live. 

website-logoVisit Cardiff Council’s online resource ‘Keep Cardiff Moving’ website HERE to find out more information. You’ll find a map of the proposed area, dates of public consultation sessions, an online survey, an FAQ for the pilot scheme, and links to more information on 20mph speed limits and campaigns in the UK. If you would like Pontcanna/your area to be considered please email them your concerns asap

As with similar schemes across the UK the proposed 20mph pilot in Cardiff is a signs-only scheme, so there won’t be any road humps or other traffic calming measures installed as part of the pilot.

Following this public consultation, a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) will be submitted requesting that the legal speed limit be changed to 20mph on roads within the pilot boundary. Once it is submitted, it takes approximately 6 months for a TRO to become law, during which time there will be a period of further consultation where formal objections to the order can be made. These objections will be taken into account before deciding on whether or not the order is passed.

What can you do?

The online survey has now finished but you can still email the council your concerns. Please let Cardiff Council know what you think of the proposals, as soon as possible.

You can email them with your views at They’re currently running drop-in consultation sessions where the public can speak to a representative in person, dates of which can be found here.

The scheme will only be successful if it has the support of local residents, businesses and stakeholders. Cardiff Council will be launching a wider communication campaign over the next few months, and the more support we can get now, the better it will be! Please fill in spread the word and let them know if your local community group/business/school would like to get involved.

6/9 Update: to Co-Op apply for Alcohol Licence 7am-11pm, 7 days a week!


Cardiff Council Licencing committee will review the Co-Op’s application at their meeting at 10 am on Friday 13 September. Everyone who wrote should have received a letter from the council inviting them to speak or nominate a speaker. Cardiff Council received over 40 letters in relation to the Co-Op licencing application – many thanks to everyone who wrote.  If you wrote and have not received one please contact the council. We will post the outcomes as soon as we have them.

Co-op Supermarket update

The Co-op definitely plan to open a supermarket store at the Pontcanna Pine / Dairy site. Legally, they only need planning permission for signage, as they are converting the existing building. They also need an alcohol licence.

store frontimagesAt the public meeting the Co-op said that to open a store on this site they NEED to sell alcohol, from 7am to 10pm, for 7 days a week. The Co-op said they could NOT shorten those hours, and have in fact applied for a longer licence, from 7am to 11pm, 7 days a week.

What can you do if you wish to object to this?

‘Interested parties or responsible authorities’ should complete Cardiff Council’s forms, please click to download:
Co-op Representation Form  information sheet  and send it to them. Your objections should be based on the licensing objectives and must be submitted to the council before the end of the consultation period on 26th August 2013.

When making their decision the Council are ONLY able to take into account any issues which may impact on 1 or more of the 4 licensing objectives below:

store images•  Protection of Children from Harm
•  Prevention of Public Nuisance
•  Public Safety
•  Prevention of Crime and Disorder

(More information please view ‘Home Office: Amended Guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003’ – from page 11

Post or hand in your form to: Licensing Section, Cardiff Council, Room 161, City Hall, Cardiff CF10 3ND Quoting ref: LSS/CCCP/01731. Or email your form to: quoting ref: LSS/CCCP/01731

Please copy your councillors: our Labour councillors have offered to represent us at the meeting, they are &
& Also your AM, including Mark Drakeford AM

What will happen next?

At the end of the consultation period, if objections have been received then a hearing will be arranged, normally within 2-3 weeks. Any person who has made written representations will be invited to attend the hearing and will be permitted to voice their concerns to the Committee.

lorry imagesIf the Co-op get the alcohol licence and planning for signage there will be nothing stopping them from opening their store 7am – 11pm, 7 days a week. They are planning to do this by the end of 2013.

Thank you. You can email us on: