Restaurant and leisure quarter plan for Bay area
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 But a campaign against the development, led by an online petition of 4,000 signatures, led to the scheme being withdrawn.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