Cardiff builder voices frustration over inaccessible driveway

A CARDIFF builder said he is considering moving house because he hasn’t been able to use his driveway for nearly a year due to construction work.

Builders started work on putting up 17 affordable flats on the site of the former Duke of Clarence pub in Pembroke Road in April 2023.

However the fencing for the construction work was erected in about March or February according to Mark Ellis who lives opposite the proposed development.

He told the firm behind the construction works, Willis Construction, that the fencing put up was preventing him from parking his van but his requests to have it moved apparently “fell on deaf ears”.

Mark said the fencing was even moved closer to his property.

He added: “They just keep moving the fencing and when you complain they move it back a touch.

“The next day they put it back where it was.

“I pay privately, as do [my neighbours], for that driveway.

“I pay my rent for this and I pay extra for the drive, £100 a month, and I told them I have not been able to use it for a year.

“I’ve paid £1,200 for that and I haven’t used it.

“My insurance is void overnight… because it is only insured if I am securely parked.”

Willis Construction said it was disappointed to hear that Mark feels he has not been listened to and believe it has taken every effort to be mindful of residents.

The firm said it has also never encroached on any part of the road outside of its remit with the temporary traffic restriction order (TTRO) granted to it in January 2023.

Cardiff Council said it is aware of the issue raised but added that after a site visit it doesn’t believe that the works are obstructing the driveway.

Mark said that some drivers who realise that the Pembroke Road junction with Clive Road is closed use his driveway to turn around in, which has led to his van being damaged.

“It is driving me insane”, he said.

“I am parked outside my door and they see the drive’s empty so they go bonnet-on into my driveway, reverse back as far as they can, and then try and swing it around and they have hit my van.

“I know it has been hit three times.

“They have taken things off the van, they have dented the van, but there are other times when there are marks on there and I am not here.

“I know someone has hit it but who? I don’t know.”

When asked how much it could cost to have this damage repaired he said he wasn’t sure exactly but estimated that it could be in the thousands.

Cardiff Council said the Pembroke Road closure will be in place for 18 months from the date it started (February 6, 2023) but Mark said he doesn’t think the work will be done by July.

He said: “At the minute they are only putting the frames up.

“Once the bricklayers come in, the electricians come in, the dry liners… the roofers, because I know – I am in the game – where are they all going to park?”

Mark said the ordeal has caused him a great deal of stress, adding: “I am moving 100%. I can’t put up with this. I will be moving out.”

A Willis Construction spokesmaon said: “Further to comments received from a concerned resident regarding the works currently being undertaken on the site of the former Duke of Clarence pub, Canton, Willis Construction is disappointed to hear that a neighbour feels he has not been listened to.

“We believe we have taken every effort to be mindful of residents living in the vicinity of the development throughout the duration of the project we are undertaking for Linc Cymru and will continue to do until completion.”

A Cardiff Council spokesman said: “For this development the contractor has been engaging with residents on the works since planning permission for the development was granted and this engagement will continue until the works are complete.

“There has been concerns raised that staff working on site are parking in the area and the contractor has been informed by the council that their staff are not allowed to block access to resident’s properties.

“In this instance, following a site visit, we don’t believe the works are obstructing the resident’s driveway and we will continue to try make contact with him so that his concerns can be addressed.”

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