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Demolition of historic building frontages set for approval

08 Jul 2024 3 minute read
Guildford Crescent in 2019

Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter

An application to allow the controversial demolition of historic building frontages is set for approval.

The developer behind new apartments on Guildford Crescent applied to Cardiff Council in 2023 to knock down the facade of several buildings on the street, but went ahead and carried out the work shortly after without having obtained permission.

GT Guildford Crescent Limited applied to demolish what remained of the buildings, 1-6 Guildford Crescent, because it believed them to no longer be structurally safe.

Further steps

Cardiff Council said the move was in breach of planning rules and ordered the developer to cease all demolition works. The local authority also said at the time that it would consider further steps.

Guildford Crescent, pictured in 2023, nearly two years after planning permission was secured for a 30-storey building on the site. Photo Google Maps

However, a planning report set to be discussed by the council’s planning committee on Thursday, July 11, does not show any recommendation for formal enforcement action.

In the report, the council argued that the most appropriate form of action that could be taken, requiring the developers to rebuild the facade, was something that was already being proposed in the current application.

Petition

Residents fought for the survival of buildings on Guildford Crescent after plans to demolish them were put forward.

A petition signed by 20,000 people called for a stop to the plans and about 1,000 people marched in the city centre to oppose it in 2019.

The buildings, which once included popular restaurants and bars like Gwdihw, were demolished that same year. Only the facade and front roof panes of the 19th Century buildings remained afterwards.

When plans for the 30-storey tower block were given the go ahead in 2021, it was proposed that the facade of Guildford Crescent would be retained and the original pitched roofs would be reconstructed.

An application to amend the application to allow the demolition and re-building of the Guildford Crescent facade was lodged in August, 2023. Cardiff Council said it was told on September 5, 2023, that the facade had been demolished.

Residents and local councillors have called for the developer to be held accountable for its actions.

Enforcement notice

The council’s planning report states: “As noted earlier in the report… in cases where unauthorised demolition has occurred, the only formal remedy to such a breach of planning control is through service of an Enforcement Notice requiring that the building is rebuilt.

“Any such Notice would need to include detailed plans / specifications, and a time limit by which time such actions must be undertaken.

“The developer has, however, demonstrated through this current application that they have every intention of rebuilding the terrace as part of their development, together with negotiated ‘uplift’ / enhancements – all of which are identified in detailed plans/ specifications, and would form part of conditions on a subsequent approval.

“Any formal action would, therefore, only be seeking to require them to implement on site the details contained within this current application – which Officers have already deemed acceptable above.”

Cardiff Council’s planning committee will meet to discuss the plans at 10.30am.

It can be viewed live at here


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Gareth Westacott
Gareth Westacott
5 days ago

Absolutely nuts! That company shouldn’t be allowed to build anything on the site.. Permission should be witheld …. indefinitely. Either that or they should be given permission to grass it over and plant trees, interspersed with a few benches – and maintain it at their own expense.

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