Two years ago (14th March 2013 https://ossjay.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/fields-by-tonteg-as-the-bulldozers-move-in/ ) I wrote optimistically about a new estate between the Ridings in Tonteg and Church Village bypass. Last week I checked out progress, beginning at the roundabout and walking on the Community Path eastwards.
Quite a lot of “phase 1” is now occupied and the red material at gable ends can be spotted behind the trees as more houses are built. Poor drainage and sound insulation by trees has to stay – the open land on the other side of the bypass is popular for walking with and without dogs.
I turned off the Community Path at the bridge (great stonework), Things to spot: signs (4 miles to Pontypridd), dog-poo bin.
On the path is bright yellow gorse. Below behind pussy willow is the ford over Nant Dowlais and path to Tonteg (Footpath 48) which will pass through the new estate.
I have argued for Footpath 48 to be promoted as a wide recreational and commuting route, in line with the Active Travel Act and Equality Act. (Open Spaces Society is consulted over proposals on rights of way and new housing is enhanced by well-planned highways and open spaces.) Now Phase 2 is beginning, one field beyond the stream.
This is changing from how it looked, with trees cut down or trimmed, the chipped timber in piles on the edges of fields.
The builders trucks and machinery have their own fascination, active all day then quietly parked up for the night.
The phase 2 houses will certainly have some magnificent views to the Garth to the south and to the Caerau Fort over to the west.
The path follows the remaining trees, across a bank construction and up to the narrow tunnel between houses on The Ridings. I turned right and eventually found the tunnel under a long forgotten railway where childrren were playing, looping back to return by Footpath 48 where the machines stretched out silent.
It was getting later, with people and their dogs out and about, sharing the Community Path with cyclists.
It’s hard to trust the developers – after all, they won’t live on the estate – and I have, as Open Spaces representative, done my bit to keep wider green ways through. Lucky residents if they get the fine trees and views together with cycle and foot access to the wider network. Pity about the extra traffic on the bypass – time for a light railway?