Plan for trio of shops in Ely is turned down

South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

PLANS for new shops to be built in a Cardiff sub­urb have been re­jected – to the huge re­lief of ex­ist­ing busi­nesses.

An ap­pli­ca­tion went in front of coun­cil­lors on Wed­nes­day to de­mol­ish for­mer pub The Caerau.

In its place, three shops would be built as well as 12 park­ing spa­ces at the junc­tion of Heol Ebwy and Bish­op­ston Road.

But mem­bers of the plan­ning com­mit­tee went against a rec­om­men­da­tion from coun­cil of­fi­cers to ap­prove the plans.

In­stead, they told of­fi­cers to come back to them with legally-valid rea­sons to refuse the scheme.

While coun­cil­lors said it was the size and scale of the pro­posed build­ing that was a con­cern, res­i­dents said they didn’t want more shops.

The pe­ti­tion said that res­i­dents feared a re­turn to the anti-so­cial be­hav­iour that led to the clo­sure of the pub.

They also wanted to see af­ford­able hous­ing, not more shops.

Mo­hammed Shahid Rafiq runs Shad’s Bish­op­ston Stores. He spoke at the meet­ing and said ap­proval for the new shops would ruin his busi­ness.

“My­self and my fam­ily have had a shop in Caerau for 34 years.

“I be­lieve other retail units will prob­a­bly detri­ment the area in terms of the econ­omy and also, in terms of the plans, I don’t think it would suit the area.

“We’ve had a pe­ti­tion in the shop and we’ve had nearly 800 sig­na­tures. There’s a feel­ing in the area that we don’t want any more retail units. Busi­ness has gone down quite con­sid­er­ably when other stores have opened in the area.

“Maybe not in the short but in the long term, def­i­nitely jobs will be lost.

“I em­ploy 10 peo­ple and my neigh­bours nearby have a num­ber of staff as well. I don’t think this scheme is vi­able.”

The agent told the com­mit­tee that it was ex­pected other busi­nesses would ob­ject as they would be in com­pe­ti­tion with the new stores.

He said the in­vest­ment will be £1m which will “ob­vi­ously ben­e­fit the lo­cal com­mu­nity”.

“The de­vel­oper was in­ter­ested in tak­ing down the build­ing and putting a very good build­ing. It will be­come a ben­e­fit for that area”.

How­ever, of­fi­cers said that com­pe­ti­tion be­tween busi­nesses “isn’t a plan­ning is­sue”.

“If plan­ning per­mis­sion were re­fused on those grounds, the coun­cil would lose a plan­ning ap­peal and likely have costs put against us,” a plan­ning of­fi­cer told the com­mit­tee.

Res­i­dents were also con­cerned about lor­ries ac­cess­ing the site.

The ward coun­cil­lors, Labour’s Peter Brad­bury and Elaine Sim­mons, both op­posed the scheme.

Com­mit­tee mem­ber Frank Ja­cob­sen said he had con­cerns about lor­ries re­vers­ing around the area. He says school­child­ren us­ing the new school could be in dan­ger.

“If there’s no road widen­ing scheme for these lor­ries, surely it’s an ac­ci­dent wait­ing to hap­pen?,” he added.

Speak­ing af­ter the plan­ning meet­ing, Mr Rafiq was clearly re­lieved but said he didn’t be­lieve their bat­tle was over.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.