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Cardiff Council moves to update protected buildings list

Rompney Castle

Cardiff Council is taking steps to increase the protection afforded to buildings of local architectural or historical interest in the city against demolition or unsympathetic development.

There are currently more than 200 ‘Buildings of Merit’ in the city. While some fall within existing conservation areas, there are many pubs, community buildings and music venues which do not have ‘locally-listed’ status but still make an important contribution and have the potential to enrich the historic and cultural life of Cardiff.

Last week, councillors and planning officers moved to remove the owner’s right to demolish the Rompney Castle pub in Wentloog Road, Rumney, and now the authority wants to undertake a review of other buildings to give them the same status.

The last review was carried out in 1997 but the resulting list of buildings has not been maintained or reviewed since then, although around a third of the original list of 323 buildings have now been listed by Cadw.

In a proposal to be discussed by the Council’s Cabinet later this month, councillors are being asked to agree the consultation process for a first thematic review of the ‘local list, focusing initially on buildings rich in the city’s working-class history.

Once complete, this would mean that when planning applications are assessed, a building’s special local architectural or historical interest can be taken into consideration before a decision is made.

Councillors are also being asked to revise the arrangements for issuing so-called Article 4 directions, to allow the Council to react swiftly to withdraw permitted development rights, for example for demolition, if there is reliable evidence to suggest that such rights could damage an “interest of acknowledged importance”.

The Rompney Castle had its demolition rights withdrawn following a campaign by local people and it was judged that its loss would “cause unacceptable harm to the wellbeing of the local community and to local character and distinctiveness”.

The consultation will allow the public to put forward buildings for inclusion on the list. When judging which buildings should be added to the ‘local list’ eight criteria have been developed to assess their historic and cultural value:

  •  Aesthetic or design merit
  • Historic interest
  • Historical association – key works by distinguished architects, for example
  • Landmark status – pubs, churches, banks etc.
  • Group value – terraces etc.
  • Social or communal – town halls, chapels or memorials, for example
  • Age – buildings dating from before 1875, for example
  • Rarity

Cllr Dan De’Ath, Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, said: “We’ve seen a number of characterful buildings in Cardiff lost over the years, such as the College Buildings in Splott and Roath Laundry which were put forward for assessment by Cadw but missed out.

“This local list doesn’t have anything like the same powers as buildings which are listed by Cadw, but it will help us work with developers to try to protect and celebrate local buildings such as pubs, community spaces and music venues – particularly those rich in the city’s working-class history.

“By strengthening our planning regulations and continuing to lobby the Welsh Government for stronger powers a new and revised Local List will play a key part in the recognition and protection of these assets and, importantly, fits well with the Council’s commitment to creating a Stronger, Greener, Fairer city.”

The report will be discussed at the Council’s Cabinet committee meeting on Thursday, September 21, at 2pm. The full report will be available to view after 6pm, Friday, September 15, here

Using the same link you will also be able to view a live webcast of the Cabinet meeting from 2pm, Thursday, September 21.