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Plans to Redevelop Grade-II Listed Cardiff Bay Building Considered

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In an attempt to regenerate the area, developers are planning to reimagine the old HSBC building on the corner of Bute Street and James Street, Cardiff. Turning the Grade-II listed building into 16 flats, a four-bedroom penthouse apartment as well as a restaurant, the plans are to be considered by the council on Wednesday.

While set to breathe new life into the building, there have been some early stage objections aired, with The Victorian Society feeling developers “would cause a high degree of unjustified harm” to the historic building.

Constructed in 1874 for coal owners and exporters, Cory Bros, the building was then extended in 1914. Having been empty since 2014, planners have recently issued a report recommending the approval of councillors, claiming the items were “welcomed in principle as the development would revitalise a large long-term vacant listed building”.

They said the changes to the roofing illustrated “appropriate regard to the special interest of the building”.

However, This was no comfort to The Victorian Society, feeling the penthouse in particular would “cause a high degree of unjustified harm to the listed building and surrounding Mount Stuart Square Conservation Area”. It said the building “proudly and splendidly evokes the extraordinary wealth Cardiff enjoyed at the end of the 19th Century”, with the new plans not recognising such times.

Glamorgan and Gwent Archaeological Trust also shared their views on the development, feeling that the building held historic importance that needed to be considered when signing off on the details of the development.

“In order to preserve this structure by record we strongly recommend that a survey is made prior to work commencing” the trust commented.

Cardiff council planners have recommended the development plans be granted subject to conditions and the development starting within 18 months.