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Cardiff's 'gateway to Wales' plans approved by Council

Cardiff Central Station the 'gateway to Wales'

A regeneration plan set in the heart of Cardiff city centre has been given the go ahead by Cardiff Council’s Labour leadership.

The plans which will use taxpayers money are designed to help improve the first impressions of Wales by regenerating the area situated in the areas north and south of Cardiff Central train station – which many local business and residents are calling the ‘gateway to Wales’. The details about the regeneration plans are being kept secret from the public at the time being with identities of potential building owners and companies also being kept under wraps. The Council has stated that the current secrecy is down to “commercial confidentiality.”

Along with the bus station the regeneration plans will also see a number of local businesses and buildings come under the ownership of the local taxpayers. The targets haven’t been revealed, but there are rumours that potential targets could include Marland House and St David’s House on Wood Street.

The regeneration plans are also hoping to create significant public realm improvements which could include public squares being built either side of Cardiff Central station and a new promenade which will join the station with the Millennium Stadium.

Speaking about the plans at a cabinet meeting last week, Councillor Russell Goodway said that the plans were designed to revive and restore an area of Cardiff which had grown tired. However, he warned that because the Council has no concrete plans for the actual regeneration scheme the process would be slow and not a short-term project.

Criticism of the regeneration plans

Many business owners and residents believe the plans are needed because the current area creates “wide embarrassment to residents”. However, the plans have not been warmly received by every member of Cardiff’s community.

The biggest criticism of the plans is the amount of secrecy surrounding them. The regeneration is being funded through the taxpayer and therefore many politicians feel the general public have a right to know exactly how Cardiff Council is spending their money.

Cardiff’s Liberal Democrat MP Jenny Willott has accused the Labour administration of a “blatant disregard” for the taxpayers by not revealing the identity of the buildings.

“This is yet another example of Cardiff Council failing to be transparent and open, behaving just as they did when Councillor Goodway was questioned about the council’s attempt to buy land at Callaghan Square last year. The people who are going to be directly affected by these plans, and who are footing the bill, deserve to know what is going on. What does the council have to hide”?

Cardiff has undergone a number of regeneration schemes during the last 10 years, a few examples are the new St David’s Shopping Centre (which opened in 2009) and University of South Wales’ ATRiuM building (which opened in 2007). Cardiff Bay has also undergone significant redevelopment, making Cardiff a very attractive place for people to live, work and study. If you’re a student currently studying in Cardiff and looking for accommodation why not check out our range of properties. If you’d like any further assistance, we’d be happy to help, so please get in touch.

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