Cardiff Civic Society objects to Cardiff University’s Centre for Student Life building on a number of counts.
First of all it will result in the demolition of the historic Victorian villas of numbers 46, 47 and 48 Park Place – within the Conservation Area. Losing these buildings will damage the integrity of the area, and also result in a dangerous precedent – placing historic buildings in this, other city conservation areas at risk. The proposed building will also result in the loss of many trees in the avenue, a loss which cannot be mitigated.
Aesthetically, the proposed scheme jars with other buildings in its location, particularly as it is higher than neighbouring buildings, and fronts Park Place, rather than being set back from it.
Furthermore, the proposal is in breach of Cardiff Council’s own commitment to protecting Cardiff’s built heritage. Key Policy 17 says “Cardiff’s distinctive heritage assets will be protected, managed and enhanced, in particular the character and setting of its Scheduled Ancient Monuments, Listed Buildings, Registered Historic Landscapes, Parks, Gardens, Conservation Areas, Locally Listed Buildings and other features of local interest that positively contribute to the distinctiveness of the city.”
The Planning Inspector recently stressed the importance of maintaining the Victorian villas in Park Place, stressing in a recent judgement the importance of maintaining a ‘coherent context’ and ‘harmonious street frontage’ in Park Place.
A Centre for Student Life could be built that respects the city’s heritage rather than damaging it, as this proposal does.
Chair, Cardiff Civic Society