Call to get on with bus sta­tion

South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

CARDIFF coun­cil has to get on with build­ing a new bus sta­tion, ac­cord­ing to its coun­cil­lors.

Devel­oper Righ­tacres has told the coun­cil the orig­i­nal plan to in­clude flats and of­fices in the new build­ing is not vi­able and in­stead the cab­i­net agreed in July that they could look to the stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion mar­ket.

But Plaid Cymru coun­cil­lor Neil McEvoy had asked for a spe­cial meet­ing for the plans to be dis­cussed again.

He wanted coun­cil­lors to send the de­ci­sion to al­low stu­dent flats to be built back to cab­i­net to re­view.

But the joint scru­tiny com­mit­tee said there was no need and in­stead called on of­fi­cers to get on with se­cur­ing the city’s bus sta­tion.

There was a cross-party con­sen­sus from the com­mit­tee that if stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion was the only way the new bus sta­tion could be built, it should be al­lowed to hap­pen.

The ma­jor­ity of the meet­ing was held in pri­vate, with press and pub­lic ex­cluded, due to con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion be­ing dis­cussed.

Splott coun­cil­lor Ed Stubbs said: “Rus­sell Good­way, in his sum­ming up, and Coun Gor­don also made a valu­able point. Peo­ple just want a bus sta­tion and what we’re be­ing asked to do to­day is to go on some ifs, buts or shoulds and de­lay it even fur­ther.”

Saeed Ebri­him said: “Peo­ple just want to see a bus sta­tion. We have clearly heard tonight that stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion will not be a sec­ond grade job. It will be a first class ac­com­mo­da­tion scheme for stu­dents”.

Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil­lor Gavin Hil­lJohn said he hoped be­fore stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion was ap­proved, all other op­tions were ex­hausted.

“I have faith in our of­fi­cers that they are work­ing to a bet­ter so­lu­tion but we have to have a point at which we have to just make it hap­pen. If it gets to the point we have to have stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion, I am mas­sively con­fi­dent we will have looked at ev­ery other op­por­tu­nity”.

Coun McEvoy had said the bus sta­tion had to pro­vide “long-term ac­com­mo­da­tion for job cre­at­ing busi­nesses, rather than ac­com­mo­da­tion for a tem­po­rary stu­dent pop­u­la­tion”.

And he said there had to be good qual­ity flats near of­fices so peo­ple make the new bus sta­tion their homes.

“The bus sta­tion and the high qual­ity of­fice space must be the pri­or­ity for this de­vel­op­ment. It seems that car park­ing for the BBC and the needs of the devel­oper have now over­taken the need of the city to have high-paid, qual­ity jobs.”

He the cab­i­net de­ci­sion in July was “a real mis­take that would dis­cour­age en­ter­prise and jeop­ar­dise the South Wales Metro project”.

Coun McEvoy had called in the de­ci­sion, in a process where scru­tiny com­mit­tee coun­cil­lors look again at the de­ci­sions taken and hear ev­i­dence be­fore de­cid­ing if they should be re­turned to cab­i­net.

Coun McEvoy asked for the plan to be re­ferred to the whole coun­cil due to “enor­mous op­po­si­tion from the pub­lic”. The re­quest was re­fused.

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