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Popular Cardiff pub Porter’s could be knocked down for 35-storey apartment tower

01 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

Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter

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

The building is home to popular pub and music venue Porter’s in Cardiff city centre.

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.

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

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

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.


Porter’s lease at Harlech Court runs out in October next year, according to the pub’s Facebook page. The pub called for help from Cardiff council in finding a new building, and said Draycott had been a “decent and supportive” landlord.

The Facebook post said: “Our lease at Harlech Court runs until October 23, 2022. If that’s when we say goodbye, then so be it. It’s been a blast, but we do of course hope that between us we can find a new building to call home.

“We would naturally welcome any suggestions of possible buildings from our friends.

“Perhaps Cardiff council could also join us in helping to find a suitable empty building that does not sit under the cloud of possible demolition or redevelopment, so that we can continue to be a place of joy, as well as an outlet and source of employment for all the wonderful and talented staff, and musicians, theatre makers, performers and creatives of this marvellous capital city, who provide us all with the things that make life worth living.

“Please note, we have a good working relationship with our landlord who has been decent, courteous, supportive, transparent and honest throughout.”

Less than five minutes walk away, another popular music venue and bar Gwdihŵ was recently demolished, along with two restaurants on Guildford Crescent. Plans were last week revealed to build a 29-storey apartment tower there.

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