Concern at plans for new apartment complex in Llanishen

The developer withdrew similar plans last year after widespread local opposition

PLANS to build an apartment complex in Llanishen have drawn a mixed reaction from residents, businesses, and a local councillor.

The major development would see four one-bed flats and 16 two-bed flats built around the Fishguard Road shopfronts. The garages behind the shops will be demolished for car and bike parking and a covered bin store.

Current view from the north.
Proposed view from the north.

The developer owns all the shops, maisonettes, garages and surrounding area on the road.

Lynn Jones, 58, who runs Mrs Jones Coffee Shop on the Fishguard Road shopfront, said: “As a struggling business through the pandemic the development will be a good thing for me while they’re building it, but I’m not sure afterwards.

“I’ve got no complaints if builders want to come and be fed. But I’ve got mixed feelings overall especially about the parking situation.”

Mrs Jones, from Birchgrove, has survived a McDonald’s opening nearby and the pandemic. But she has fresh concerns a new traffic camera on Crystal Glen will end her passing trade by stopping through-traffic. This development could be a lifeline for her business.

Proposed view of the shopfront.

Mrs Jones’ son Josh runs the barber shop Blades and Fades on the shopfront. Josh, 33, who lives above his shop said of the development: “I have mixed feelings about the development.

“It’s an invasion of my privacy and there’s already a colossal amount of people in a small area here.

“There’s a lot of litter about already and I’m not sure it’s viable for the area, especially regarding parking because 20 flats could mean 40 cars.”

Asked how the development might affect his business, Mr Jones said: “It could be hit and miss, it all depends on what tenants we get in the new flats.”

“I think the development and the noise from its construction might disrupt my living and my business.”

Josh Jones runs his barbershop next to mum Lynn’s café. Photo: Lynn Jones

In 2020, planning for a chip shop on Fishguard Road was narrowly refused after the council received over 200 objections.

Llanishen Councillor Tom Parkhill said: “Generally I’m not in favour of the development because there is already too much housing in the area and anti-social behaviour.

“I think this development could make it worse.

“This is not the first time development of the area has been planned. About eight or nine years ago planning was rejected and last year an application was withdrawn.”

The developer withdrew a planning application last May with 14 comments objecting. The developer is now applying again with different planning consultants.

Coun Parkhill continued: “There was local opposition then which I think is still there.

“Also, I think the garages are currently rented out so we need clarity what will happen there.”

Crundale Crescent John Caddick, 73, said: “The area is generally untidy so some form of development may be welcome, but I fear that 20 flats with four shops will be a massive over- development.

“There is a call in the area for affordable three-bed homes rather than one or two-bed flats.

“I would go for demolishing all the existing and build three-storey, three-bed townhouses with a corner shop.”

According to Zoopla, the average property price over the last 12 months on Fishguard Road is £242,900.

Proposed site plan.

MP for Cardiff North Anna McMorrin said: “Some constituents have been in touch with me to voice their concerns regarding the proposed development at 30-36 Fishguard Road.

“As Cardiff North’s MP, I will ensure those views are heard by decision makers as this moves through the planning process and will press to ensure that any development works for the community and is in keeping with the local area as far as possible.”

The developer’s planning consultants AJ Planning said: “The developer is committed to delivering an exciting development which will make best use of the previously developed land.

“There has been a good level of response from the community in relation to the formal public consultation for which a summary report will be provided by the applicant within their formal application submission.” 

A pre-planning consultation ended on the 19 February. A formal planning application will be submitted to the council in the coming weeks.

The council will then aim to process the application in 13 weeks.

The full plans can be found here.