Plans for Cardiff’s new bus station have been put on hold after the developer claimed the offices and flat which are part of the scheme may not be viable.
The original plans included private flats and office space near the entrance to Cardiff Railway Station but developer Rightacres now says that, as a minimum, the private flats need to be replaced with student flats and, if no tenants for the adjoining office space can be found, that too would be replaced with more student flats.
The project given planning approval in March 2017 saw a bus station on the ground floor, a car park on the first floor, and five storeys of office space with 195 flats taking up the rest of a 14-storey building on the Wood Street side.
But now Rightacres, has said changes to student accommodation would need a new planning application that would delay plans for work to start on the three-year building project. The council had originally said construction would get under way in April 2016, with an opening date of summer 2018.
Rightacres warns that development will only begin once more than half of the office area is let, but: “In the event that office tenants are not secured within a reasonable timescale, the developer is proposing to extend student accommodation across the whole of the building.”
A report about the scheme lists a number of challenges the scheme has faced
- Council restriction against a budget hotel or student accommodation
- Purchase of buildings higher than expected
- Cost of parking provision for BBC staff
- The link to the new railway station
- Securing Welsh Government money for final fit
The council has put aside £20m for the delivery of the bus station but full details of the costs of the scheme remain confidential.
The old bus station was closed on August 1, 2015, ahead of demolition.