SULLY and Lavernock Community Council have written to the First Minister Mark Drakeford regarding the planned commemorative woodlands.
They have proposed that the Welsh Government land opposite Cosmeston Country Park should be used for one of the planned woodlands – one in north Wales and one in south Wales – as symbols of Wales’ resilience during the pandemic and one of regeneration and renewal as the new woodlands grow.
They say that such a woodland setting would be an appropriate location for the annex to Ysgol Y Deri Special Needs School currently proposed for the site, rather than the Welsh Government’s proposed housing estate.
Lino Scaglioni, Chair of Sully and Lavernock Community Council, said: “The commemorative woodland, with Ysgol Y Deri Special Needs School, with the sea and the south Wales coast path on the one side and Cosmeston Lakes Country Park on the other.
“What could be better than that?”
Robin Lynn, recently elected Councillor for Lavernock ward, said “The Commemorative Woodland would present an opportunity to preserve the current ambience of Cosmeston Country Park and provide a perfect setting for Ysgol Y Deri.”
The letter, sent to Drakeford, reads: ‘Such a woodland would enhance and benefit from the serenity already created by the park.
‘For those wishing to visit the woodland for remembrance, reflection or recreation, access to public transport and active travel routes, parking and refreshments are already in place
‘Your advisors will doubtless point out that the site in question is owned by your government, which has applied for outline planning permission for some 576 homes.
‘They will also confirm that this application is being hotly contested by local residents and a number of voluntary organisations concerned that the site is inappropriate, for reasons including the environment and ambience of Cosmeston itself, the traffic issues it will create, the damage to sites of historical architectural interest (which could be preserved in a woodland setting) and health and safety issues due to part of the site’s previous use for disposal of toxic industrial waste.
‘Resistance to the proposed development has generated a petition of 5,272 signatures. This is currently being considered for debate in the Senedd*.
‘Subsequent to the initial planning application a proposal has been raised by the Vale of Glamorgan Council for an extension to Penarth’s Ysgol Y Deri Special Needs School on the same site.
‘Ysgol Y Deri is a highly valued resource located in Penarth but lacks the room to accommodate the growth in demand for its service.
‘The location of such an extension in a tranquil woodland setting would we feel sure add value to the experience of both pupils and staff.
‘The world we inhabit seems increasingly impermanent.
‘Covid-19 has created a dislocation of the senses, leaving us with the need for something solid to connect with. An oak wood around Ysgol Y Deri would be a start.’
Robin Lynn, recently elected Councillor for Lavernock ward, said: “The Commemorative Woodland would present an opportunity to preserve the current ambience of Cosmeston Country Park and provide a perfect setting for Ysgol Y Deri.”