Residents are angry over the empty land at the rear of Mynachdy Road, Gabalfa, which is treated as a dumping ground and infested with rats.
The site, which was originally a coal yard, has been empty for years. Old tires, plastic bottles, glass bottles, domestic goods and food waste are all chucked over the metal gates, which are supposed to prevent such happenings.
Despite the rejection of a planning application to build six blocks of student accommodation on the site, residents remain unhappy.
Fears of an ever increasing student population in Gabalfa, which, in Talybont, already has the largest student accommodation in the area, is always a worry.
Val Phillips, 73, of Mynachdy Road, has lived in the area all her life and has watched the population change over time.
She said: “Thank goodness it (the planning application) was rejected because it isn’t fair. We are elderly tenants with no intention of moving so we had to show how much we didn’t want it. We didn’t want our life to be usurped.”
Val and her husband, Terry, 76, felt very passionately about the plan not going ahead. Issues of parking, the potential for more noise and litter were among the reasons why residents campaigned.
After learning the application was rejected last week, residents were shocked at the result. Ceri Elliott, 46, of Llantarnam Rd, said: “We didn’t think we had a hope in hell to be honest. I really thought it would go ahead.”
Despite the rejection, residents now worry what will be proposed next.
Mrs Elliott added: “Whatever they decide to do with it will affect all of us. Parking will be even more of a nightmare. There are a lot of elderly people who live around here who just want peace and quiet.”
Houses whose back gardens line up with the site are the most likely to be affected by the council’s decision. William and Gene Herbert, of Mynachdy Road, have lived in the same house for 40 years and they are upset about the situation.
Mr Herbert, 75, said: “The site is in a terrible state. People have been dumping stuff down there for years.”
Treating the site as a waste land has resulted in problems with vermin for the Herberts.
Mr Herbert added: “Because people dump stuff we get rats. We have had rats out the back for years. My grandchildren can’t go out there and play because of the rats.”
Ideas of bungalows for the elderly, building a railway station, or making the area into a communal garden have all been raised by residents, but for now the area remains a dumping site.
Councillor Bridges recognised no residents were in favour of building student accommodation.
He said: “In an area that desperately needs open space and play facilities, the development of the site should be used as an opportunity to give something back to local residents and to future occupants of any new residential units.”
Mrs Herbert said: “Before they do anything they need to clean it up! It is filthy and we have to deal with rats because of it.”
Mrs Phillips added: “We don’t want more students in the area. I don’t want it rear its ugly head again.”