PLANS to use Pontcanna Fields as an Eisteddfod campsite angered residents last week, now Cardiff Council have responded.
When it was announced last week that the Eisteddfod would be using Pontcanna Fields as a campsite, many residents feared a repeat of the extensive damage that followed the 2008 Eisteddfod which put the site out of use for two years.
In light of this discontent, Cardiff Council have released a statement explaining their decision.
A spokesperson from the council said that they, and the Eisteddfod, were “very aware of the historical challenges” following the site’s use in 2008.
“The Maes itself is relocating to Cardiff Bay which fundamentally changes the proposition from what people remember about 2008,” the spokesperson said.
Eisteddfod planners held a drop-in session last month in order to discuss the use of the fields with residents. However, many have said that they were not aware of the session taking place.
How widely was the drop in session publicised? I live & work locally and heard nothing. There are more than 2 marked pitches (what about the football?), and what’s the point of protecting a wicket if you’ve ruined the outfield? What other sites have been considered?
— Kate Evans (@Kate_V_Evans) March 12, 2018
“The Eisteddfod acknowledges the importance of parks and green spaces to local residents, and the aim of the recent drop-in session in Pontcanna was to share the first draft of the plan with local people, so that their views could be taken into consideration when working on the final plan for the area.”
While final plans are yet to be confirmed, the current layout includes space for 650-700 caravans, 200 Family Camping Pitches and 400 Youth Camping Pitches.
The Eisteddfod has guaranteed the protection of all cricket wickets as well as the two rugby pitches in front of the Pontcanna changing rooms.
Comments raised in the drop-in session as well as those raised online will be considered ahead of a final plan. Planners can however confirm the following:
- Visitors will only be allowed to park one car next to their caravan during the festival. Once visitors have parked their car on-site, they will be prohibited from moving their vehicle unless they are leaving the site for good and they will not be permitted back on site.
- The Eisteddfod is charging visitors who wish to bring a second car to Cardiff, and they will have to park the second vehicle in an allocated car park, which is away from the caravan site itself. The festival will be briefing all visitors on this prior to the festival, and will not tolerate people moving their vehicles onsite during the week.
- The Eisteddfod is keen for the shuttle buses to run from Sophia Gardens to the Bay, with an additional service running once or twice an hour from Western Avenue to the Bay to accommodate older, disabled and vulnerable visitors. Organisers are keen only to have works traffic running on the spine road from the entrance of the campsite to the caravan site, but this is yet to be fully considered by the council and agreed.
- The current plan indicates that the path to Blackweir will be closed, with a temporary path created to the right of the car park. This plan has been put in place to ensure that pedestrians and vehicles are kept away from each other for safety reasons.
- The Eisteddfod will employ a camping site event company for the period and a cleaning company will collect waste and rubbish on a daily basis. The site will be assessed before the start and at the end of the festival to ensure that it is returned to the council in a satisfactory condition.
Cardiff Council have also confirmed that a bond will be secured to cover the costs of any reinstatement of the football pitches required post-event.