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Holder Mathias replacement for ditched Fosters Cardiff bus station approved

18 01705 mjr hma cardiff 04a 2063904
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Cardiff city councillors have approved Holder Mathias’ replacement scheme for the scrapped Foster + Partners transport interchange proposals

The council’s planning committee granted consent to the AJ100 practice’s 14-stand bus station – to sit below a 249-space car park and 305 rental flats – as well as a separate six-storey office block.

Only this spring the local authority revealed that a revised scheme, with more homes and office space, would be brought forward after several failed attempts by Fosters and project backer Rightacres Property Company.

After winning the job in June 2015, Fosters lodged an initial application in November 2016. This was approved in March 2017 but a revised scheme was submitted later that year amid viability concerns.

This April it was announced that the Welsh government would take on the leasehold of council-owned land set aside for the scheme, and Transport for Wales would lease the bus station. As a result, Cardiff City Council said a new architect would be required for a revised design.

Holder Mathias is understood to have been working up its alternative plans for Rightacres since October 2017.

Axo of holder mathias in cardiff

Holder Mathias Architects’ approved scheme for Cardiff bus station - November 2018 - axonometric

Holder Mathias Architects’ approved scheme for Cardiff bus station - November 2018 - axonometric

A planning report to councillors this week said: ‘Cabinet in December 2017 authorised the council to work with the developer to undertake a comprehensive review of the approved [Fosters] scheme to establish a commercially viable mix of uses that would enable the scheme to progress.

’Cabinet in March 2018 authorised the council to proceed with a revised scheme increasing the volume of office accommodation and the number of residential apartments, and the application under consideration was registered in July 2018.’

The report concluded that the Holder Mathias proposal ‘substantially realises the vision for the area in accordance with the 2016 local development plan’.

Holder Mathias, Foster + Partners, Cardiff City Council and the Welsh government have all been contacted for comment.

Cardiff interchange central square

The scrapped Foster + Partners’ Cardiff interchange central square scheme as submitted for planning in 2016

 

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Readers' comments (2)

  • If this is "substantially realising the vision for the area" I think both the government and Cardiff council need to start aiming a bit higher with their visions.

    The BBC is reporting that only 7 buses an hour will use it at peak times. It will also not incorporate cycle parking and cycling may even be banned in the adjacent square.

    This is a money making scheme in the heart of Cardiff, with buses being used as a distraction, as opposed to meaningful transport infrastructure.

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  • 14 stands for buses does seem rather meagre for a city the size of Cardiff, but this is roughly in line with the 12 bus stands in the downsized bus station to be (eventually) built in Exeter - whereas in Glasgow the bus station (admittedly serving a larger conurbation) has 56 stances.
    In contrast Plymouth makes do with a new 7 stand long distance coach station, all other buses and coaches being consigned to kerbside stops on a city centre street.
    In both Exeter and Plymouth the bus stations are city council operations that were allowed to deteriorate to the point of no return, with the sites now being redeveloped primarily as leisure centres.

    The AJ has covered a variety of new bus stations over the years, but following the recent saga of Preston bus station there's surely the need for a thorough review of the quality of design of city centre public transport facilities across Britain, as in many places bus and coach users seem to get a poor deal compared with users of rail termini - and that includes in London.

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