To this point, the Council have ignored the needs of this estate in terms of the infrastructure that they need to live comfortably. Small things, like the fact that the Estate does not have a postbox (the nearest one is on Colchester Avenue) seem almost petty to comment upon. However, when one reconciles this with the fact that a good proportion of the properties on the Estate are managed by a social housing provider (Wales & West Housing Association), and that there are a number of elderly and mobility impaired people living there, this becomes more problematic.
However, the postbox is not the point of this comment. Nor is the fact that the houses have drives but no grit-box for the inevitable cold snaps, which make the residents unable to get their cars off their private property (unless they've had the foresight, and have the spare funds, to lay in some rock salt for the purpose).
The point that I'd like to raise relates to the mass development going on at the bottom of Colchester Avenue. There are over 300 properties which have been developed on the site of what was the Industrial Estate. Planning consent has also been granted for the redevelopment of the former UWIC site, for the site between Sainsbury's and Ffordd Nowell, and - a few years previously - to develop Doe Close opposite the Howardian Estate. In addition, there is work ongoing on what was the Welch's dairy site, on Newport Road, which will bring a Morrison's supermarket to the area.
The challenge is to the resilience of the infrastructure in the area. The council has invested, using funds from the Doe Close developer's 'Section 106' contributions, in traffic lights at the junction of Hammond Way and Colchester Avenue. This has meant that residents of the Howardian Estate are more able to get out of the estate in the morning.
However, the phasing of these traffic lights is nowhere near right yet - and there are often tailbacks from that junction a long way back towards Newport Road. Likewise, the lack of sufficient public transport between Ffordd Nowell and, for example, Cardiff High school mean that many people are forced to use their cars for unnecessary journeys.
For these reasons, I have manage to persuade the local Labour Party to conduct a 'listening exercise' in the area this Saturday. I'll be out with them in Ffordd Nowell, Scholar's Gate, Doe Close and the Howardian Estate on the morning of Saturday, 30 March. However, I'd be interested in any thoughts that people have on development of the area - local residents in particular - regardless of whether we happen to knock on your door when you're in.