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Cardiff park and ride site to be transformed into new business park

An artist's impression of what the redeveloped Cardiff East Park and Ride site between Llanrumney and Pentwyn could look like once completed (Pic: Henry Mein Architects and Interior Designers)

A CARDIFF park and ride facility will be transformed after an application to build a new relief road and business park there were approved.

Cardiff Council’s planning committee met on Thursday January 11 to vote on the plans for Cardiff East Park and Ride, which will have its parking provision reduced to accommodate the new development.

It is hoped the new connection between Ball Road and the A48 will ease congestion in residential areas and improve connections between east Cardiff and the rest of the city.

Cardiff Council ward member for Llanrumney, Cllr Keith Jones, called the scheme a “historic opportunity” to improve transport infrastructure in the east of the city and “potentially one of the most important active travel [developments] in Cardiff this decade”.

He said residents in his ward are “in complete support of this application and, indeed, the people in east Cardiff”.

The relief road, which will see a bridge built over the Rhymney River, will link the communities of Llanrumney and Pentwyn which are currently divided by the A48.

Cardiff Council is proposing to control the use of the bridge during morning and evening peak hours to encourage more people to use public transport.

Regular vehicles will be permitted to use the bridge during off-peak hours and other controls could be brought in, like bus gates and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras.

The ‘commercial floor space’ mentioned in the council’s planning report on the site will include provision for offices, industrial units, storage and a drive through.

Cllr Jones pointed to the need of employment opportunities in the area, adding that the communities in the east of Cardiff are among the poorest in the city and Wales as a whole.

Park and ride parking spaces will be reduced from 900 to 440.

However, the planning report does mention that there will be a further 257 car parking spaces across the proposed commercial plots which will include provision for electric vehicle charging.

Planning committee member, Cllr Michael Michael, said he also welcomed the application.

The Labour councillor, who is also the ward member for Trowbridge, said the east of Cardiff has been “devoid of large scale employment for far to long”.

Concerns were raised that limiting access to the new bridge during peak times to buses, cyclists and pedestrians could defeat the object of reducing congestions on other roads in the city during periods of high traffic, like Newport Road.

Another member of the planning committee, Cllr Adrian Robson, said that whilst he sees the application as one that “will help… an area which has been neglected”, he wondered whether the council was limiting the opportunities for the residents of Llanrumney with the bridge restrictions.

Operational manager for transport development and network management at Cardiff Council, Jason Dixon, said it was also key to consider the A48 as an important route to maintain in Cardiff and that there will be opportunities to improve the city’s bus network in the future.

Other concerns raised were the loss of woodland and green space that will result from the development and the fact that the north of the site lies within a high risk flood area.

Cardiff Council planning officer, Steve Ball, said the benefits that will be created through the scheme outweighed the potential impacts.

He added that the council has worked with the developer to secure mitigation measures that will reduce the environmental impacts of the scheme, like providing replacement habitats for door mice.

“We need to make sure that we are in a position where we are comfortable that there will be no adverse impact on those spaces,” said Mr Ball.

“[We are] in a much better position to bring this forward to committee.”

Plans for the redevelopment of the park and ride site were also amended after discussions with the council to relocate the main warehouse, which is part of the commercial aspect of the scheme, to protect an existing plot of woodland.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) raised no objections to the plans.

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