Wales

Cardiff bus station and apartment block plans approved

Artist's impression of the new Cardiff bus station Image copyright Meshroom
Image caption Designs for the new Cardiff bus station were revealed earlier this year

Plans for a new bus station, 22-storey apartment block, offices and shop units in Cardiff have been approved.

The 14-stand interchange will be built on the former Marland House car park next to the old bus station.

A tower of 305 flats will be built in Wood Street, with a nine-storey block in Marland Street and an office block at Saunders Road.

The opening of the bus station - delayed from 2017 due to changes in the wider plans - is now expected in 2021.

The revised proposals were passed by Cardiff council's planning committee on Wednesday by seven votes to one, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Councillor Frank Jacobsen said the current design was a "large improvement" on the original plans, but expressed concerns long distance buses would not be located at the facility.

Councillor Lyn Hudson, who voted against the plans, said the 22-storey tower was "soulless" and "functional".

She said: "For it to be that high, and that plain, is not enhancing the city centre or the bus station and the surrounding buildings.

"We have some fine tall buildings in the city centre. It looks nothing like them."

Proposals also include a 249-space private car park, mainly for the new BBC Cymru Wales headquarters being built next door. No car parking is provided for the apartments.

Image copyright Rightacres
Image caption An artist's impression of the 22-storey apartment block

Outline plans for the bus station had previously been agreed by councillors.

This was the first time the other developments had been brought together by Rightacres Property Company in pursuit of full planning permission.

Cardiff Civic Society said it envisaged a "chaotic situation" inside the interchange at peak periods due to an "unrealistic two-minute turnaround" of buses arriving and leaving.

Council officers have said the bus stands will accommodate seven buses per hour during peak times, with other services using existing on-street stops.

And they said pollution from the interchange could be reduced if cleaner hybrid or electric vehicles were used.

The development is a partnership between Cardiff council, the Welsh Government, Rightacres and Network Rail.

The bus station will be operated by the government's transport body, Transport for Wales.

Meanwhile, the planning report said Network Rail had "long term aspirations" to upgrade Central Station.

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