Former Cardiff nursing home set to be converted into 18 flats
A former nursing home in Pontcanna in three adjoining Victorian houses is set to be converted into 18 flats.
Barclay Court, at 104–8 Cathedral Road, was used as a nursing home for older people with dementia, but was recently sold to developer SGR Estate. The developer has applied for planning permission from Cardiff Council to make major changes to the building.
The plans were originally for 21 flats, but after negotiations with council planners these have been revised down to 18 flats. The locally listed building is in a conservation area.
Council planners asked the developer for a contribution of £265,324 Section 106 money to go towards improving highways, affordable housing and public open space. But the developer said it would only pay £40,000 — just 15 per cent of what the council requested.
Concerns have been raised about air pollution and increased traffic potentially caused by the flats.
Nerys Lloyd-Pierce, chair of Cardiff Civic Society, said the plans were an “unacceptable overdevelopment”.
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She claimed: “Adding so many households to the region, with their associated vehicles, will create a significant amount of pollution in an area of Cardiff that is currently close to the legal limit for nitrogen oxide pollution.
“Cathedral Road is also a conservation area, and overdevelopment of this nature is contrary to the spirit of conservation.”
Julian Creed, who lives nearby, is also objecting to the plans on conservation grounds. He said: “This property has the best front garden in the whole of Cathedral Road and must be preserved in this conservation area.
“Developers of properties of multiple occupation tend to want gardens of low maintenance or no maintenance and destroy the wildlife biodiversity and rain water absorption of the area. In a conservation area, the visual appeal of a front garden must be preserved as much as the style of windows.”
Traffic was another concern raised as Cathedral Road already struggles with congestion, especially on match days. Darren Chappell, another neighbour, said the flats could add to the traffic problems.
Mr Chappell said: “The proposed level of occupancy will result in severe nuisance at rush hours as a substantially increased number of vehicles attempt to arrive or leave. Traffic in this part of Cathedral Road is usually very slow, or static at rush hour.
“When sports matches and other events take place at the Swalec and Principality stadiums, the additional parking by visitors frequently results in police assistance being sought to move vehicles blocking essential garage entrances on Sophia Walk.
“The additional traffic from this overdevelopment would seriously add to the current congestion and friction.”
Councillors on the planning committee will consider the application at a public meeting on July 22, when they will decide whether to grant permission for the conversion.