Council leader ‘frustrated’ as plans for £120m mainline train station are put on hold
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
Cardiff Council’s leader has expressed his frustration after plans for a major new railway station were put on hold.
The Hendre Lakes development, which includes plans for a new business park and £120m mainline train station in St Mellons, was approved by Cardiff Council in April.
However, the Welsh Government decided in October that it would call in the project.
The decision means Welsh Ministers will review and determine the application instead of Cardiff Council’s planning committee.
“I am frustrated, frankly, that it has taken so long to call the decision in,” said Cardiff Council leader Huw Thomas.
“But I know the council’s planning department is now fully engaged with Welsh Government planners to work through the questions that they have raised.
“Politically, we will keep pushing for a swift resolution so we can proceed with what is a really important piece of sustainable infrastructure for the city.”
The opening date for the business park and Cardiff Parkway railway station was originally earmarked for 2024.
If approved, it is hoped the business park will provide about 6,000 jobs.
The proposed train station is also seen as a way of better connecting the east of Cardiff with the city centre.
Providing his thoughts on the proposed development, Cllr Thomas said: “As an administration, we are totally supportive of the Cardiff Parkway development.
“We see it as a key enabler of park and ride into the city centre so you can drive or catch a bus to this station and you are seven minutes by train to Cardiff city centre.
“We see it as a keystone of the M4 corridor work across to Newport as well and that is really important for Cardiff because if we can decompress the M4, it makes access to the city better as well.”
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “A planning application for the construction of a business park and transport hub at land south of St Mellons Business Park has been called in for determination.
“Welsh Ministers cannot comment further on this as to do so may prejudice any future decisions in relation to the proposal.”
The application will be examined by an appointed inspector who will then make a recommendation to Ministers, who will then make a decision.
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Such is the way for publicly funded government projects. Political expediency and legacy always trumps the public good.