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Petition started against car park plans in Llanelli's Parc Howard

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 06, 2013

Comments (5)

A GREAT-grandmother who has raised concerns over plans for a car park in a popular Llanelli attraction has started a petition against the proposal.

Pat Morris, of Old Road, contacted the Evening Post last month to highlight the dangers she felt would come from a car park being built at Parc Howard in the town.

The plans have been proposed by Carmarthenshire Council in conjunction with the Parc Howard Association, who have reassured people that it is “just one idea” in a wider vision at the moment.

Secretary of the association, Barbara Willis, encouraged people to attend a meeting at the Athenaeum Hall on March 2, adding: “We know it is a contentious issue but nothing has been decided.”

But Mrs Morris, whose three-year-old great-granddaughter uses the park, has approached schools and set up an e-petition against the proposals.

She said: “My concerns regarding safety are mainly on behalf of all the mothers coming to our park with all the usual paraphernalia — pushchairs, scooters, trikes and such.

“I've done it for three generations of children myself. When they arrive at Parc Howard gates, because parking in Old Road is usually available they are relieved to put the children down to run into the park with the reassurance that there will be no traffic coming their way.”

So far, 33 people have signed an e-petition, with Ysgol Gyfyn y Strade, Old Road School, Ysgol Dewi Sant and Furnace taking the petitions on board.

Mrs Morris, former owner of independent children’s clothing store Children’s Choice, also called on PTA members of Llanelli schools to get in touch, or visit the e-petition at www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/parc

Also included in the plans are a new woodland school and study area, improvement to cycling links and an upgraded children’s play area, including a Splash Pad instead of a paddling pool. The plans have been put together as part of a Heritage Lottery Fund bid.

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  • ser22  |  April 10 2013, 10:47AM

    A gift is NOT a gift when it is paid for. The council had to pay 5 shillings to "rent" it for 999 years - that's £25 in today's money, not bad but..., they also had to pay £4,500 to "upgrade" the park (it was a condition of the agreement in 1912 - that's nearly half a million in today's money), took the labour of striking miners to make the park, then the council had to pay £350,000 for the estate's 32 acres (if you're ready for this... 6 million in today's money!) It wasn't a gift, it isn't a gift, and anyone who says that only cars belonging to "Parc Howard Association Members friends and family" is milking it in more ways than one! For my £6.5m I'd like a little bit of tarmac in a controlled part of the park so that I and my loved ones can come and enjoy the "gift" that we so dearly paid for, instead of it being only available to those that are in the association, or for those that live in a neighbouring street.

  • patmorris  |  February 08 2013, 7:27PM

    Good evening Stepknee. A Park NOT A Car Park. Surely you must be aware that disabled people have been parking their cars in Parc Howard for years. To argue against that would be extremely prejudicial. Re the safety issue, we have been aware of the difficulties on the Felinfoel side. The residents directly affected have been trying to deal with that problem for years. It will not be solved by putting a car park this end. Do you really think dog walkers are going to drive right round town in order to park their cars in a car park to walk their dogs? You could of course look on it another way. If the proposed car park went ahead and was used, most probably, by the able-bodied bowlers, to walk the five yards to the green, on a rare fine summer's day, the mothers would be struggling to find spaces to park and would probably have to pay so much an hour to do so. We want to encourage young mothers to our parks because no doubt the next move would be 'residents parking' on Old Road, so there would be no where for them to go, should the 40 spaces be filled. On the other hand if the CC gave free parking, the places would probably be filled very quickly, each morning, by people who worked in the town. It's only a five minute walk down the hill. Incidentally I have to say the 120 foot tap rooted, pine trees would have to come down for the excavation of the new road, otherwise they might topple and kill someone in a storm. As for scaremongering - surely you're not suggesting they'd risk a one way access only with passing places? That would be chaotic. The children would be walking up the hill breathing in the exhaust fumes of the cars stuck revving while their owners queued to get in or out of the park. The proposed entrance /exit is 50 yards down from a blind spot on the hilltop where cars come hurtling over toward Furnace. I find it tedious to keep on repeating myself when we almost appear to be agreeing on things. I am not going to reply again, this debate has run its course, but if you like having the last word I'll bow out gracefully. I send you good wishes and good health and hope you will consider buying a brilliant book 'In praise of slowness ' by Carl Honore. It says on the blurb:- "People all over the world are reclaiming their time, slowing down the pace - and living happier, healthier and more productive lives as a result". patmorris@cilfa.plus.

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  • StepKnee  |  February 08 2013, 2:39PM

    I had actually posted my message on this article before you had replied to my posting on the previous article, so please don't think I had ignored that. Your arguments against an able-bodied car park are compelling and as I have said I agree with you. My points are quite simple:- 1) Your petition does not say you are in favour of a disabled car park, it says you are against ANY car park. 2) If you were really bothered about safety you would have raised the matter over the last few years, not now when the council has proposed to build a car park behind your home. 3) While I don't agree with the proposed car park it is clear that it will improve safety in the park in relation to the current situation. Something has to be done. I am glad your petition is going well, although I suspect there is an element of scaremongering going on too. The posting of your neighbour on the other article claiming that "swathes of land with their trees, hedge-growth and bushes and wild-life habitats will be destroyed" is obviously untrue. You too are suggesting that the car park will result in "herding mothers, pushchairs, children, complete classes of school children and people with their pets onto a restricted pavement" when in reality the proposal is just for an extra path to be provided from Old Road until the the existing pathway splits. Whatever your motives, I agree with your aim to prevent this car park being built in Parc Howard.

  • patmorris  |  February 07 2013, 5:38PM

    Re:- A Park NOT A Car Park I must say thank you Stepknee for giving me these opportunities for replying to you, mentioning my petition, as the numbers are increasing daily. Before you accuse us of false motives yet again please read my reply. A parking space for half a dozen disabled car owners is proposed and has NOT been contested. However the positioning of it may however give cause for concern, regarding the safety aspect for the children. We are objecting to a 'Permanent' public car park in Parc Howard for the ABLEBODIED, irrespective of whether the entrance is off Park Howard Avenue, Felinfoel or Old Road. People have been fighting against a car park in the grounds of Parc Howard for over thirty years. My husband has used this park for over 70 years and his view is that children should have safe access to our park, just as he has had throughout his life. He currently visits the park with our great granddaughter who is the 4th generation of our family to enjoy use of a car free Parc Howard. As a strong supporter of the 'Soil Association' I am naturally concerned about our environment. Artificial fertilisers and crop spraying are killing off our wild life, not to mention damaging our health. I am most concerned about our children's future – their chemical intake is massive - from artificial flavourings, colourings, additives, skin care and cleaning products. Asthma has reached epidemic proportions and today's exhaust fumes from cars make our roads unhealthy places to walk or play by. What is the point of pedestrianising our town if you rob us of our green parks? The above are the genuine reasons for opposing car access to the park. As Old Roadians we know better than most how children associate the park gates with freedom, it's their place, their treat, where they are allowed to run, scoot, or cycle. The reason Old Road entrance is so popular is because there is enough parking in the day time on Old road for the mothers. Once inside the gates they can relax knowing the children are safe from danger and pollution. Can you imagine for one moment herding mothers, pushchairs, children, complete classes of school children and people with their pets onto a restricted pavement with a barrier? It begs the question what if a child got bitten? I have never been active politically but this Parc Howard car park suggestion really worries me. The most oft repeated phrase I have heard since I started this Petition one week ago "A car park in a park, whose idea is that? It's ridiculous". Incidentally in one week we have had 544 signatures. Anyone who agrees with my comments please click on our petition. (http://tinyurl.com/avrhb47). Or contact me at patmorris@cilfa.plus.com. Thank you

  • StepKnee  |  February 06 2013, 9:38AM

    So are they also against a disabled car park? Their petition quite clearly says they are "opposed to any plans to allow ANY permanent car parking facilities". That's nice of you. I am also against the proposed car park for able bodied use, but not on safety grounds as I have actually looked at the plans and can see that the plan would make things far safer by segregating cars and people (without cutting down any trees or concreting over grassy areas). Due to mobility issues for some users there are always cars in Parc Howard (CCC can't exactly refuse) and without any formal car park or safety measures it is very dangerous and I have been told by the park keeper that there have been several near misses. If these people were really bothered about safety they would have been complaining for the last few years, not when a car park which will remove most of the risk is proposed behind their homes. This is nothing more than self interest.

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