Historic pub saved after developers withdraw flats plan

Roath Park. Picture by Jaggery (CC BY-SA 2.0).

 Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter

A Victorian pub in Cardiff is no longer set for demolition as developers withdrew a plan to knock it down and build flats.

Property developers wanted to demolish the Roath Park on the corner of City Road and Kincraig Street, after former owners Brains sold the pub.

Ventura Developments applied for planning permission to knock down the Victorian building and build a seven-story block of 37 apartments.

The planning committee at Cardiff council was due to decide on approving permission for the plan at a meeting on Wednesday, December 16. But the developers withdrew their plan after planning officers recommended refusing permission.

Councillor Dan De’Ath, representing Plasnewydd, said: “We are really pleased that developers have withdrawn their planning application to demolish the historic Roath Park pub to make way for an apartment block, after Cardiff council recommended it be rejected.”

The plan was recommended for refusal as council planners said the apartment block would be “out of keeping with the scale of surrounding buildings”, “over-dominant and incongruous” on City Road, and “obtrusive and overbearing” on neighbouring homes.

Planners also said the apartments lacked affordable housing, and the developers didn’t confirm if they would pay a financial contribution instead of providing affordable housing.

Councillor Rodney Berman, representing Penylan, warned the developers could change their plan and apply again for permission to knock down the pub.

He said: “I’m pleased to hear developers have withdrawn the application to demolish the Roath Park pub and replace it with a seven-storey block of flats. It was recommended for refusal. An amended plan could well follow, however.”

 

‘Yuck’

The demolition and proposed flats proved unpopular with the local community with a petition opposing the plan signed by more than 300 people, and opposition voiced on social media.

Responding to opposition on social media in October, council leader Huw Thomas said: “I think increasing density in the inner-city is fine. But it would be a real shame to lose a historic pub like that — and the colour, to my eyes, says ‘yuck’.”

Another pub on City Road, the Poets Corner, was knocked down in 2016.

Further up the street, the Gaiety, a former cinema and bowling alley could be next for demolition. Developers have permission to replace it with student flats. Planners recently refused permission for a separate application to build a temporary car park on the site.

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