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What public square planned for former Cardiff Debenhams site could look like

An artist's impression of what the public square planned for the former Cardiff Debenhams site could look like (Pic: Virtual Planit)

CARDIFF will have a new tree-lined public square in the city centre with a raised terraced area overlooking fountains and seating. An artist’s impression shows the proposals for the site of the former Debenhams.

The department store in St David’s shopping centre closed in 2021 and was later purchased by Landsec in 2023.

A timeline for the new public space project was laid out in February 2024, when developers got to work engaging with members of the public through drop-in events and workshops.

Proposals for the open air public square include a play space with a water feature and a place for events that could host live music and street food vendors.

Centre director at St David’s, Helen Morgan, said: “These designs for a new city square have the potential to bring so much to our thriving capital city.

“We’ve engaged more than 3,000 people on our early designs and are excited with how our intention to bring new and improved outdoor space to this part of St David’s has been received by the public.

“We listened to people telling us about the importance of incorporating nature, as well as performance, safe play space and a place for events, so these are central themes to our designs.”

The artist’s impression of the proposed site, published in Landsec’s annual results for 2024, also shows plans to landscape it.

A full planning application for the development is expected to be submitted to Cardiff Council in July 2024.

The next step in the project will see further community engagement events take place at St David’s shopping centre.

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Ms Morgan added: “Continued input from the community is essential to us shaping a successful place together.

“We look forward to sharing the updated plans with people in June – we’ll have more details to share on these events very soon.”

The proposal for the former Debenhams store, constructed in the late 1970s, involves demolishing the building.

According to the timeline of events for the project, demolition is planned to take place over the course of a year from spring 2024 to spring 2025.

The public open space could be open by summer 2026, provided there are no delays and if planning permission is granted.