Call to get on with bus station
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.