Cardiff to buy ice rink and 10 acres of land to speed up development of International Sports Village
Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter
Cardiff council is set to buy the ice rink and 10 acres of land at the International Sports Village.
New details about the master plan for the area have been revealed including moving a motocross track from Splott to just west of the current Bayside mass vaccination centre.
The development of the area has been piecemeal over the past few years and large portions of the land have been left empty.
By buying land owned by developers Greenbank, the council is hoping to speed up the development of the International Sports Village and its master plan for the area.
The council entered a contract with Greenbank in 2012 to redevelop the International Sports Village. The first phase of the plans involved building the Ice Arena Wales, which was completed in 2016, and also building an indoor ski slope, which has since been shelved.
Greenbank built 100 flats at the Cardiff Pointe development, and 160 affordable housing apartments, too. There is planning permission to build hundreds more homes.
A newly published cabinet report explained the fallout between the council and Greenbank, leading to progress “stagnating”.
The cabinet report said: “Development at the International Sports Village has now stagnated for a number of years. Progress under the development agreement has been slow due to a disagreement between the council and Greenbank relating to the fulfilment of conditions for the next phase of development, i.e. commitment to deliver the ski slope or a reasonable alternative.
“In recent years the development has effectively ceased and the site has consequently suffered from significant uncertainty for an extended period. The development agreement between the council and Greenbank, that was designed to facilitate development, has effectively served to frustrate progress over recent years.”
The council recently revealed a new master plan for the area, which includes replacing the velodrome at Maindy with a new one north of the Bayside vaccination centre. The plans have drawn criticism from campaigners Save the Maindy Velodrome, who have been supported by cyclists Sir Chris Hoy and Geraint Thomas.
Another issue is residents at the Cardiff Pointe development finding it difficult to sell their flats and paying “skewed” service charges due to the long delays in finishing the scheme. By buying the land owned by Greenbank, the council hopes to address these problems.
The cabinet report said: “Housing development at Cardiff Pointe has also stagnated in recent years and this has created significant uncertainty for existing residents who have found themselves in a position where their properties have become difficult to sell. The area looks unfinished with much of the site undeveloped and without a plan for completion.
“The housing units developed by Greenbank are also subject to a housing management arrangement requiring residents to pay a service charge. At present the level of charges is skewed due to the low numbers of completed properties. Whilst the delays in completing the development continue, the costs of this arrangement are borne by the residents.”
The decision is due to be signed off in a cabinet meeting on Thursday, September 23. The plan would be to split up the land into smaller plots, selling each part one-by-one to developers who have committed to a build contract, to prevent any further delays.
Councillor Russell Goodway, cabinet member for investment and development, said: “The council remains committed to completing the International Sports Village development and to delivering a high quality leisure and sport destination at the site.
“The leisure destination remains a key priority for the council, included as an objective in the council’s corporate plan and over the years, the council has invested in a number of state-of-the-art facilities such as the International Pool, the International White Water Rafting Centre and FlowRider.
“If the recommendations in this report are agreed, the council will be able to progress with phase two of the development, bringing together the facilities on site as a single attraction and develop plans to create additional facilities at the International Sports Village.”
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