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Council ‘nothing to do’ with knocking down Cardiff pub Porter’s to build Wales’ tallest tower

02 Mar 2021 3 minute read
Harlech Court, home to popular pub and music venue Porter’s, which developers want to knock down Photo by Alex Seabrook

The leader of Cardiff council has said that they “have nothing to do” with plans to knock down popular pub and music venue Porter’s in Cardiff city centre to build a 35-storey apartment tower.

Developers want to demolish Harlech Court, on Bute Terrace, to build what would be the tallest building in Wales, the LDRS reported yesterday.

The building is home to popular pub and music venue Porter’s in Cardiff city centre, prompting a online backlash by Cardiff residents and music fans.

However, Council Leader Huw Thomas said that they had played no part in the decision to demolish Porter’s.

“To be clear, what is happening here is a private landlord looking to develop their own land, and giving their tenants notice at the end of their lease in 2022,” he said.

“The Council has nothing to do with any of this. I understand Porter’s have a good relationship with the landlord.

“In terms of the proposed development, at the moment it’s just that – proposed. There isn’t even a planning application in yet; the first stage would be a pre-application consultation, which I presume the landlord plans to commence shortly.”

He said that he had however have already been in touch with Porters, offering the Council’s help to work with them to find a new, permanent home”.

“The Council has limited intervention powers in commercial cases like this, but the offer has been made to assist Porters to relocate, because as far as I’m concerned, we want more, not fewer venues like this in Cardiff.”


Porter’s said its lease runs out in October next year, and is calling for help to find a new venue.

As well as live music, Porter’s also regularly put on theatre and comedy nights, before the coronavirus pandemic.

The Draycott Group bought the building in May 2018, and is now planning to knock it down and build 350 apartments on the site, according to the group’s website.

Plans are still in the early stage, few details are available so far, and the developers haven’t yet applied for planning permission.

The Draycott Group is also behind several recent developments in Cardiff, including luxury townhouses the Rise in Pontcanna; student flats City Heights on City Road; and student accommodation Cyprian House in Cathays.

The website for the Draycott Group said: “Draycott has engaged the services of consultants to submit a full planning application for the demolition and redevelopment of the office block into a 350 apartment Build-to-Rent scheme.

The construction of the 35-storey tower will make it Wales’ tallest building.”

Currently, the tallest building in Wales is the Meridian Tower in Swansea, with 29 storeys.

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