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MAINDY PARK users have laid out their concerns about potentially being short-changed in a contentious land swap.

Residents who are opposed to a proposed land exchange involving Maindy Park were vocal at the first meeting of an independent committee, set up to help decide the fate of the much-loved green space.

The Maindy Park Trust Advisory Committee, which is made up of members of the Standards and Ethics Committee and Governance and Audit Committee, will advise Cardiff Council’s cabinet on whether or not Maindy Park Trust’s land at Maindy Park should be exchanged for land at Blackweir Fields and Caedelyn Park.

If that decision goes ahead, it will pave the way for the proposed expansion of Cathays High.

The plans have drawn much criticism from residents and park users, who fear the loss of Maindy Park and the much-loved velodrome on site.

Speaking at the meeting, Cathays resident Ant Warland said there was “no equivalent” from either parcel of land being offered.

He said there were concerns from park users that they would lose a safe, well-lit and accessible space.

“Does the council really expect vulnerable users to go to Blackweir instead of using the flood-lit parks around Maindy?,” said Mr Warland.

On Caedelyn, he added:

“It is 2.1 miles away, which is not readily accessible to residents local to Maindy, and the lack of lighting and high level of pedestrian traffic also make it unsuitable for vulnerable users.”

The council’s proposed development would provide the area with a larger school which has been brought up to 21st century standards.

The velodrome at Maindy Park, which was built for the Empire Games in Cardiff in 1958, has nurtured the talent of British cyclists Elinor Barker and Owain Doull.

Cycling coach Alan Davis, who also spoke at the meeting, said the track encouraged successful cyclist Geraint Thomas to take to the sport.

At the meeting, held on Wednesday, October 12, Alan said: “Without Maindy… Geraint, Elinor and Owain would never have taken up cycling.”

He added that the proposed replacement velodrome at the International Sports Village would not have the “community feel” that Maindy has.

When the council first proposed the land swap, they said the pieces of green space at Blackweir and Caedelyn “fulfil the required criteria in that they are green space of a similar scale and relatively close to the existing land and do not have existing trust designation”.

Another meeting of the Maindy Park Independent Advisory Committee will take place before a decision is made on a recommendation. A date is yet to be announced.

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