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Protest turns violent in Cardiff as demolition dispute escalates

Footage showing a van driver punching a demonstrator emerged following a protest against plans to build a shared path between Clos Nant Glaswg and Ty Draw Road (Pic: Residents of West Pontprennau)

In a recent protest opposing the planned demolition of a house in Cardiff’s Clos Nant Glaswg, tensions boiled over, leading to an alarming outbreak of violence. Demonstrators residing in the Pontprennau neighborhood converged to block the St Mellons Road end of Ty Draw Road on Tuesday, August 23, from 7:12 am to 7:45 am. Their grievance centered around the proposed demolition of house number 43 in Clos Nant Glaswg, which is intended to make way for a pedestrian and cycle path connecting to Ty Draw Road.

The protest, comprised of nine individuals, took an unexpected turn when a disturbing video surfaced, capturing a van driver repeatedly assaulting one of the demonstrators. Reflecting on the incident, one protester stated, “It was never our intention to prevent people from carrying out their day’s work.” He further explained that they had left the alternative access point to Ty Draw Road at Pentwyn Road unblocked, resulting in a mere five-minute detour.

He added, “What we were assured by a South Wales Police officer was that provided we were demonstrating peacefully… the police would see no problem with what we were proposing. We were within our rights to hold a peaceful protest. We were all a bit shocked that it resulted in an aggressive response.” South Wales Police acknowledged receiving a report about the alleged assault and confirmed that the investigation is ongoing, with no arrests made at this point.

The proposed path in Clos Nant Glaswg is part of an approved development that will introduce 45 affordable homes to the area, situated off Ty Draw Road. Concerns among some Clos Nant Glaswg residents revolve around the potential for increased crime and diminished safety with the opening of the path on their street.

Edenstone Homes, the developers behind the housing project, defend the shared path as a means to encourage cycling as a safe mode of transport while enhancing connectivity and access to local services. In response to the protests, Chris Edge, the operations director of Edenstone Group, stated, “The development of 45 affordable homes was approved following the standard democratic planning process, which included public consultation.”

Edge continued, “While trying to engage with residents to seek clarification on the issues they raised, they indicated they were considering a peaceful protest. We recognize that right but want to avoid unnecessary disruption to the wider community and other road users by protesters blocking the public highway.” He concluded by emphasizing the company’s commitment to peaceful dialogue and disavowing any actions against protesters during the incident.