THE “dangerous” fly-tipping problem near Forest Farm dominated last night’s Whitchurch PACT meeting.
Residents, politicians and PCSOs discussed how to prevent people parking and littering on Longwood Drive.
Keep Wales Tidy Litter Champion Kelvin Hughes said he cleans the nearby area between ASDA Coryton Superstore and Village Hotel on a weekly basis.
Mr Hughes said he could not also clear the estimated 40 or so bags at Longwood Drive: “The area is extremely bad – fly-tipping leaves settees, pillows, clothes but also very dangerous items such as batteries. We should not forget it is a nature reserve as well.”
“I think we need a radical solution. Until we do something about the cars on the hill, the problem will continue.”
Whitchurch’s Pendwyallt Road Community Watch coordinator Pam Coombes wrote to PACT, saying the route had become “a magnet for anti-social behaviour”.
“Volunteers work tirelessly to clear the area of litter but the sheer volume and frequency of waste has now become impossible to be managed by volunteers alone,” said Mrs Coombes.
A council clean-up took place on January 30 but Mrs Coombes said each time the area was cleared it became “a dumping ground” again within a fortnight.
Clearing the area is not the answer, she said.
“Preventative measures need to be taken to avoid the devastating effect this is likely to have on our environment as well as our health and safety.”
HGV drivers use this road near Coryton Roundabout as a resting stop, but they are not thought to be the only culprits. Other drivers stop to eat takeaways, while parking restrictions at ASDA’s Coryton store has increased the number of vehicles parking on Longwood Drive.
Cardiff cabinet minister for environment Bob Derbyshire declined an invitation to attend the PACT meeting but said he would meet members.
Whitchurch councillor Ben Thomas told PACT: “It is absolutely imperative that this is sorted before Radyr Weir opens, but double yellow lines would push the problem elsewhere. It could end up outside your house.”
Coun Thomas said: “Radyr Weir should be celebrated and used for educational purposes as an example of creating renewable energy.”
He told the meeting that clear-up operations cost thousands of pounds and the council could not afford to fix permanent CCTV.
Coun Thomas instead proposed a mobile camera to catch out those who litter the area in the early hours and promised to discuss solutions with Coun Derbyshire and Ramesh Patel, cabinet member for transport, planning and sustainability.
PACT chair Janice Hughes said: “We can’t answer this problem by just putting a plaster on it.
“If a place is shown not to be cared for, people using that area will abuse it. It is sort of like the ‘broken window theory’.”
Mrs Hughes showed the meeting a bag of litter cleared from Longwood Drive yesterday including a discarded parking ticket revealing the driver’s registration number.
McDonalds Coryton staff also attended the PACT meeting to express concerns about anti-social behaviour on Longwood Drive.
Store Manager Mel Davidson said: “It’s a problem for us as well. We had a call from the council today but the representative had no information for us and just said he would speak to his boss.”
“We used to liaise closely with the council in relation to litter enforcement. The call was so vague,” Ms Davidson said. “They wouldn’t arrange a time with me to meet.”
McDonalds Coryton is holding a litter event to clear the area on March 22, but has not heard whether the council will collect the waste.
- The next Whitchurch PACT meeting is on April 26 at Whitchurch Community Centre on Old Church Road.