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Archial's 'Glass Needle' skyscraper scrapped

Ambitious plans by Archial and Urban Solutions for a 32-storey ‘Glass Needle’ skyscraper in Cardiff, Wales have been binned

The ‘iconic’ £50million development, earmarked for land next to Cardiff Central Station, would have been Cardiff’s tallest building and housed more than 100 luxury apartments.

After years of delays developer Urban Solutions has scaled back its plans - originally for a 98m-tall building - and submitted a new proposal to Cardiff Council to build two smaller hotels on the derelict site.

The application states one will be a 214-room, three-star full-service hotel and the other a 150-room, two or three-star reduced-service hotel.

Tony Filice, spokesman for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Wales and director at Kelvin Francis Chartered Surveyors in Cardiff, welcomed the change of direction.

‘The volume of apartments built in Cardiff over the last six years has been excessive. And, while it’s not necessarily the case there’s no demand for them any more, there is an over supply,’ he said.

‘This is a good sign in my view because perhaps the planners will now favour town houses and houses being built, which will favour other markets, including families.’

Development was delayed in 2006 when a fibre optic cable was discovered running through the site and a year later the plans were resubmitted to Cardiff council after the developers incorporated a hotel into the design.

Building work was due to begin in the summer of 2008 but further revised plans for the site were submitted which altered the mix of apartments and hotel rooms.

The glass needle was to have been 18m higher than the Capital Tower in Greyfriars Road, Cardiff.

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