Tag Archives: Llandaff North

Hawthorn Junior School demolition: protesters gather

CAMPAIGNERS last night protested at a Victorian school building that is under threat from demolition.
Residents gathered outside Hawthorn Junior School in Hawthorn Road West, Llandaff North, in protest against Cardiff council’s plans.

The school is already due to close as part of the city’s schools reorganisation programme but the Save Hawthorn School Action Group wants the building to become a listed building and used for another purpose in the community rather than knocked down.

Four generations of Michelle Gilbert’s family have  attended Hawthorn, including her uncle Albert, who boarded there. The 36-year-old from Belleview Crescent is devastated a school which has been a big part of her family for so many years could be knocked down.

She said: “I’m absolutely gutted.
“It’s a waste of a building. It could become an adult learning centre because all the classrooms are already there.”
Councillor Ann Rowland-James was also at the protest.

She said: “I’ve got to make sure that this building gets the chance to be a community facility.”

Chair of the action group, Stephanie Wilkins, asked people to show their support by attending the council’s planning meeting on June 10, the location and time of which is yet to be decided. She also asked people to visit the group’s website at www.savehawthornschool.weebly.com.

The council said the sale of the school site was essential to fund the city’s education. A council spokeswoman said: “The only way we can fund the £60m improvements needed for our school buildings is by undertaking a school reorganisation programme as the money available from the Welsh Assembly Government will not be enough to ensure our schools are fit for the 21st Century.

“A Wales Audit Office report also confirmed that Assembly funding needs to be supplemented by receipts from land sales if significant investments such as those which are taking place at the new Hawthorn Primary site are to be achieved.”

Cardiff council has applied for outline planning permission to demolish the building and build nine houses and a block of flats on the land.

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Residents’ anger over £3,000 price for land

Fred Blight of Gabalfa Avenue is disgusted by the £3000 fee

Fred Blight of Gabalfa Avenue is disgusted by the £3000 fee

WHEN Cardiff council offered a group of residents the chance to buy some plots of land for £55 each more than a decade ago, they thought their luck was in.

But last month, those same residents were shocked when the fee was hiked up to £3,000 each.

In 1997, the council knocked on the doors of the residents of 12 houses on Gabalfa Avenue, Llandaff North, and offered them the waste land backing onto their houses, which is part of a filled-in canal.

The residents said yes and after some meetings, a letter was sent out by the council agreeing a price of £55, plus legal costs of £100 for each plot of land.

But last month, Cardiff council wrote back to them asking for £3,000 each.

Following the original decision, some residents of Watson Road, whose houses backed onto the other side of the land complained about the deal, saying they wanted to use the land too.

A meeting was held between residents on both sides of the land and it was agreed that a gated lane would be created to stop young people using the land for drinking and drug taking. Many young couples would stay in the lane for the entire weekend, much to the annoyance of residents.

When the gate was opened two years ago, a residents’ association was set up, at which point Fred Blight, 68, of Gabalfa Avenue, wrote to the council reminding them of the sale.

“The next thing I knew, I received a letter asking for £3,000,” he said.

“It isn’t even proper land because it’s an old canal contaminated with metals.

“I’m disgusted with the council. They promised us. They knocked on our doors here, asking us if we wanted to take the land off their hands because it was waste ground and the cost of maintaining it every year was too much. Since 1997, the land doubled in price so I should be looking at paying £100 for it and I would be prepared to pay that.”

Councillor Ann Rowland-James said: “It’s staggering and I will fight my very best to not let this happen.”

But residents in Watson Road said £3,000 was a fair price to pay for the land.

Mr Green, 70, of Watson Road said: “It’s a big piece of land. The council levelled it all off and it has kept it tidy.

“I would pay £3,000 if I were offered the land, but I haven’t been. Mr Blight is onto a winner.”

A council spokesperson said: “The figure quoted in the letter received by residents is the current market value of the land in question.

“However, the council is exploring a number of avenues regarding the terms of disposal.”

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Digital Narratives

Digital Narratives are a great way to tell a story. Daniel Meadow‘s lecture inspired me to have a go at making my own digital narrative.

Every day, we tell stories and anecdotes to our friends about things which have happened to us.  Digital narratives give us the opportunity to tell those stories with digital images.

Similarly, researcher Ruth Page found watching other people’s digital narratives inspired her to think about how she could make her own digital narratives for teaching. I think there is something about their rough-edged simplicity, which makes them seem so honest and attractive.

I made this digital narrative when I was researching and writing a profile of an area of Cardiff.

My story is both about that area and the adventures I had doing the research.

I welcome any comments!

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