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Developer looks to ditch PRS homes from Foster + Partners' Cardiff scheme

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The developer behind Foster + Partners’ new bus interchange scheme in Cardiff is looking to ditch nearly 200 proposed private rental homes and replace them with offices or student housing

According to recently revised proposals, developer Rightacres is looking to cut up to 195 PRS units from the top floor of the city-centre development. 

The developer claims the current plans, which were approved in March, to put the homes above new offices, a ground-floor bus interchange and a 225-space car park are no longer viable.

Rightacres also warned that the overall project faced ’significant funding challenges’ and could yet face further delay,

The AJ’s sister title Construction News has learned that the previous administration at the local authority placed planning constraints on what Rightacres could build on the top floor of the scheme.

It is understood that the former administration felt there was an excessive number of student accommodation schemes proposed around the city.

A report drawn up by the council’s director of economic development, which will be discussed by the authority on 27 July, states the developer is mooting plans to replace the consented PRS units with student accommodation.

Rightacres will pursue plans to build office space on the top floor but will only start construction if at least 50 per cent of the office area is let.

The report said the council and Rightacres were ‘pursuing a number of live enquiries which have the potential to be secured over the next few months’.

However, the developer will look to deliver student accommodation across the whole of the top floor if office tenants are not secured within a “reasonable timescale”, the report says.

The report recommends that the top floor’s use should be ’driven by market demand’ instead of by council planning constraints.

Since winning the job in June 2015, Foster + Partners’ scheme has seen several alterations (see below and AJ 29.11.16).

The bus interchange marks phase three of six of the overall Central Square development and had been scheduled to start on site last month.

Foster collage

 

View original planning application here 

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