Res­tau­rant and leisure quar­ter plan for Bay area

Western Mail - - NEWS - MATT DISCOMBE Lo­cal democ­racy re­porter matt.discombe@waleson­

ANEW res­tau­rant and leisure quar­ter could be on the hori­zon for Cardiff Bay if the coun­cil closes a land deal.

Cardiff coun­cil has agreed a deal to buy the Bri­tan­nia Park area of Cardiff Bay, which in­cludes build­ings such as the Water­guard pub, the Nor­we­gian Church Arts Cen­tre and the Lock Keeper’s Café.

The coun­cil says it wants to buy the land to pro­tect the bay edge for leisure use and to en­hance Cardiff Bay.

Sub­ject to plan­ning per­mis­sion, the site “pro­vides the po­ten­tial to cre­ate a new Bay­side res­tau­rant and leisure quar­ter which will en­hance the amenity of Cardiff Bay,” a coun­cil re­port says.

It comes af­ter peo­ple last year de­feated plans for a de­vel­op­ment in­clud­ing a 24-storey tower block on the land.

“In or­der to pro­mote Cardiff Bay as a lead­ing UK leisure des­ti­na­tion and to con­trol de­vel­op­ment around the wa­ter­front pri­mar­ily for leisure use, the coun­cil is keen to se­cure all of the bay edge into pub­lic own­er­ship,” the re­port says.

“The cost of ac­quir­ing the Bri­tan­nia Park site will need to be re­cov­ered through the ap­pro­pri­ate de­vel­op­ment of the Bri­tan­nia Park site and the wider bay edge in coun­cil own­er­ship.

“This will be done in a way that seeks to en­hance the vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence and recog­nises the im­por­tance of pub­lic ac­cess and pub­lic space along the wa­ter­front.”

The coun­cil says it would con­sider the pro­posed short-term uses of the site, while work­ing up a longer-term de­vel­op­ment strat­egy.

It hopes to pay for the site with money raised by sell­ing land in­ter­est in Cen­tral Square. The price the coun­cil pro­poses to pay for the site is sup­ported by an in­de­pen­dent val­u­a­tion re­port, which has not been made pub­lic.

Cab­i­net will be asked for ap­proval to pur­chase the land when it meets on Novem­ber 15.

The Dolf­fin Quay scheme, put for­ward by de­vel­oper As­so­ci­ated Bri­tish Ports, would have seen a huge 24-storey res­i­den­tial tower, along with bars, restau­rants and shops along the side of the bay. But a cam­paign against the de­vel­op­ment, led by an on­line pe­ti­tion of 4,000 sig­na­tures, led to the scheme be­ing with­drawn. Cardiff Civic So­ci­ety called on the coun­cil to be more cre­ative in its vi­sion.

Nerys Lloyd-Pierce, chair­woman of the so­ci­ety, said: “The most im­por­tant thing in that area is to main­tain the green space. Cardiff Bay is ab­so­lutely swamped with restau­rants al­ready. It needs more cul­tural out­lets and green spa­ces.”

A spokesman for Cardiff coun­cil con­firmed the land was be­ing pur­chased as part of a wider move to bring all of the bay edge into pub­lic own­er­ship.

“The coun­cil wants to en­sure the pub­lic al­ways has ac­cess to the bay edge and that the pri­mary pur­pose of the bay re­mains pro­tected as a leisure des­ti­na­tion,” he said.

> A new leisure quar­ter could be on the way to Cardiff Bay

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