Hundreds of people are expected to join the latest protest against the building of a £180m cancer centre in the north of Cardiff.

The new Velindre cancer centre, which includes a hospital, is planned to be built on a greenfield site known as the Northern Meadows between Whitchurch Hospital and Asda at Coryton.

The facility is set to replace the current 60-year-old Velindre Cancer Centre.

Though the plans were approved by Cardiff council in 2018, many residents from the campaign group Save the Northern Meadows say the plans will cause "irreversible damage" to what is undoubtedly a beautiful area.

They claim it will damage wildlife, cause traffic problems and lead to a loss of green space.

The group has organised a protest walk through Whitchurch village to the meadow on Saturday morning.

Protesters are set to gather at Whitchurch Common before walking up Merthyr Road towards the meadows from 10.30am.

There are also many in favour of the new hospital which supporters say is desperately needed to accommodate the growing number of cancer patients in Wales.

The new facility would be twice as big as the current hospital with a capacity for 8,500 new patients and 160,000 patient appointments a year.

Protesters have started to march through Whitchurch village

Protesters march through Whitchurch village to fight against development of new cancer hospital
(Image: WalesOnline/Cathy Owen )

The march has now started, and protesters are walking through Whitchurch village.

'This is not the right place to build'

Protesters gather to fight against development of new cancer hospital in Cardiff. Pictured is Michelle Gough
(Image: WalesOnline/Cathy Owen )

Michelle Gough said: “We don’t believe they should build on northern meadow.

“I am not against the cancer hospital I just think this is not the right place to build.

“There is the Whitchurch Hospital site.

“Why can’t they use it?”

Around 200 people gather to protest

Protesters gather in Cardiff to protest against the development of a new cancer hospital
(Image: WalesOnline/Cathy Owen )

Images of the area show around 200 people gathering to protest.

Our reporter. who is present, said everyone is following social distancing measures.

Protesters are starting to meet

Protesters start to meet to protest against the building of a new cancer hospital in Cardiff
(Image: WalesOnline/Cathy Owen )

Our reporter, Cathy, has just arrived in the area.

She said protesters are starting to meet.

Plaid leader Adam Price has written to Velindre

Plaid leader Adam Price recently visited the meadow after being invited by Cardiff North members.

After his visit last weekend he wrote to Velindre NHS to raise a series of issues of concern to campaigners.

In his letter, Adam Price said that he “wholeheartedly” supports a new centre to improve cancer diagnostic, treatment and survival rates in Wales

But he added: “I do believe it is important that every effort is made to secure the support and consent of the community where this centre of national importance will, hopefully, be situated when completed, particularly during the planning and construction phase.

“I have been made aware of a number of concerns locally on the part of those who share the aspiration for the new cancer centre, but who have concerns that the exact site earmarked is unsuitable; suggesting instead that an alternative brownfield site about 500 yards to the south or west of the site currently earmarked may be more advantageous.”

Mr Price, who asks Trust chair Professor Donna Mead to meet local campaigners to discuss community concerns, questions whether the Whitchurch Hospital site could be redeveloped as the new cancer centre.

In the letter to Professor Mead, Adam Price added: “In relation to the former Whitchurch Hospital site, it is suggested that the site as a whole may well provide the required space for the development of the cancer centre. However, it is suggested that the way in which the former Whitchurch Hospital site was ‘parcelled’ into four pieces of land to facilitate housing and commercial development has prevented the Trust from exploring this further. Is that correct?”

Timetable for the protest

This is the timetable for the protest march today.

People will start gathering from 10am before the protest ‘ramble’ starts at 10.30am.