Put people and places of Butetown first

Cardiff’s Coal Exchange

Cardiff Civic Society is calling on Cardiff Council’s cabinet to lead Wales by taking a new approach to the places we live.

Council’s cabinet should shelve grandiose plans for an expensive new arena, a new council headquarters and a Museum of Military Medicine, and instead focus on building a better Butetown.

The community must come first with regard to future investment in the area, and the creation of meaningful employment. 

Improvements to housing should be at the top of the list, along with protecting green space – Britannia Park is the only green space in Cardiff Bay, and must be saved for residents and children and not given over to a Museum of Military Medicine. 

Cardiff’s historic Coal Exchange must be at the heart of ‘place-making’ in Butetown and the Bay. This time, unlike in 2016, the Council must work with a responsible investor who has been checked for due diligence as a fit and proper person to renovate the building, and bring it back to life

Cardiff Council should take this approach as outlined in the Welsh Government’s policy contained in Building Better Places*. National policy emphasises place-making and the importance of local views and environmental concerns.  It also corresponds with the ethos of the Well-Being of Future Generations Act – some of the goals of which are outlined below.

  • Resilience – A nation which maintains and enhances a biodiverse natural environment with healthy functioning ecosystems that support social, economic and ecological resilience and the capacity to adapt to change (for example climate change).
  • Culture – A society that promotes and protects culture, heritage and the Welsh language, and which encourages people to participate in the arts, and sports and recreation.
  • Cohesive Communities – Attractive, viable, safe and well-connected communities. 
  • A more equal Wales – A society that enables people to fulfil their potential no matter what their background or circumstances (including their socio-economic background and circumstances).

We urge Cardiff Council to build back better rather than continue with the outdated obsession with extravagant projects that serve the interests of big business but ignore the views of voters.  

*https://gov.wales/planning-policy-covid-19-recovery

Nerys Lloyd-Pierce, Chair, Cardiff Civic Society

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