The development of a sustainable mixed-use scheme including new housing, retail and bus interchange on Waun Gron Road, has taken another step forward by the removal of the “call in request” by Welsh Government.
The scheme, which was approved by Cardiff Council’s Planning Committee last month, was subject to a call-in request to Welsh Government, but a decision has been made this week by the Welsh Government’s Climate Change Energy and Planning Group, that the call in application did not meet any requirements which would be worthy of determination by Welsh Ministers.
The call-in related to three distinct issues:
- Concerns the proposed development would not be in keeping with the surrounding area;
- Concerns there could be an increase in congestion and pollution from transport and noise;
- Potential for land contamination due to the site’s former use as a waste transfer station.
Welsh Government’s Climate Change Energy and Planning Group (CCEPG) said the Local Planning Authority had carried out a thorough assessment of all the concerns and had come to a ‘reasonable conclusion’ on them all when granting planning permission.
In a letter to Cardiff Council the CCEPG said: “Consideration has been given to the concerns expressed in the call-in requests. The Local Planning Authority has given due regard to national and local planning policy…The proposal does not conflict with national policies…is unlikely to have wide effects beyond the immediate locality and, whilst there has been some opposition to the application, it is local in nature and unlikely to cause substantial controversy beyond the immediate locality…In view of this, I do not consider this application should be called in for determination by the Welsh Ministers and it is now for your LPA to determine this application as it sees fit.”
On the site of the former recycling centre in Llandaff, the scheme will deliver 44 new council homes, office and commercial spaces as well as a new access road designed to integrate the proposed transport hub with the residential development.
The new properties, part of the Council’s development programme to increase the availability of affordable homes in the city, will be highly energy-efficient, making using of renewable technologies such as ground source heat and solar PVs to achieve significant improvements on current energy performance requirements.
Around half of the one bed and two bedroom apartments will be used to accommodate people on the city’s housing waiting list while the remaining homes will be temporary, supported accommodation for people who have previously experienced homelessness but are ready to move on to more independent living in their own tenancy. Low level support for these tenants will be provided on site.
The integration of the residential development with the transport hub provides benefits for existing residents in the area and the new tenants, enabling more convenient access to other parts of the city, and encouraging active travel choices via improved pedestrian and cycling facilities.
Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: “Our housing development programme seeks to not only ensure that we increase the amount of affordable housing in the city, but also to provide the right sort of accommodation for the people who need it. We’ve made significant progress in tackling homelessness in the city over recent years and providing people with suitable accommodation, so they can continue getting their lives back on track, with very light touch support from on-site staff, is essential.
“The other properties on site will be allocated to people on our housing waiting list, providing much-needed affordable homes with excellent access to local amenities.”
The new transport interchange will be built at the heart of the new development and will ensure that residents and visitors are able to interchange between train, bus and active travel more easily and allow people to travel across the city by bus without travelling into the city centre.
Sustainable access to the development will be further enhanced by the future delivery of several strategic cycling routes and improved walking links identified on the Council’s draft Active Travel Network Map which connect the site with the wider active travel network.
Cllr Caro Wild, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, said: “This development is an excellent example of how best to utilise a brownfield site, with a mix of high-density housing to create much needed social housing in close proximity to new public transport facilities.
“The new bus interchange will not only benefit those living in this new development, but all those that travel by bus from east to west and vice versa, significantly improving the journey time for these bus users.”