Cardiff Council’s controversial plans for Cardiff’s bus station have been ‘called in’ by Neil McEvoy, the Leader of the Plaid Group on Cardiff Council.
The call in means that a special committee will meet on the 13th of September to scrutinise the latest plans that could see grade A office space and homes replaced with student flats.
The bus station scheme put forward by the Labour Council has been struggling for months. In March this year, Cardiff Council’s handling of the funding for the project was described as a ‘masterclass in incompetence’ by Media Wales’ Chief Reporter. This was after it emerged no funding package had been put in place to build the bus station more than 18 months after the old bus station had been demolished.
In July, plans for the bus station were said to be in disarray after the developer stated it could not go ahead in its current form. That led to the developer calling for the Council to allow all of the proposed new homes and office space to be replaced entirely with student flats. This is the decision that has been called in by Councillor McEvoy.
If the call in is successful, the Labour Cabinet on Cardiff Council will have to vote again on whether to allow the development to proceed as student flats.
A further stumbling block is a commitment to provide over 200 parking spaces to the BBC, who are building their new Welsh headquarters on the site of the old bus station.
Neil McEvoy AM, the Leader of the Plaid Group on Cardiff Council said:
“Clearly Labour’s plans for the bus station are a farce. One of the first things they did in 2012 was to cancel the previous Plaid/Lib Dem Council’s plans to replace the bus station so they could bring in their own scheme. Now more than five years later they’ve gotten nowhere.
“There is a time and a place for student flats but now isn’t the time and the heart of the Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone certainly isn’t the place. That’s a place for jobs.
“We need an integrated transport hub where electrified trains, buses and trams can all meet in the enterprise zone. The priority must be building a big enough bus station and providing long-term quality jobs for people to work in.
“Student flats are the lazy option for a Council that has completely run out of ideas. But this project is too important to sit back and let Labour make a mess of it. We have to get this right because this project will shape how Cardiff develops for decades to come.
“Labour need to do the right thing. They should listen to what the transport experts are telling them. The bus station they want to build is too small. The car parking for the BBC is a problem for the design and so should be dropped if that’s what it takes. And the people of Cardiff are saying we deserve and expect top quality public transport and infrastructure that any capital city ought to have. They must abandon the student flats plan and deliver the integrated transport hub and office space the centre of our city needs.”