The Moorland Community Centre, Splott, is the site of the new community centre and apartments.

Splott to get four-storey apartment block for older people

The development will replace Moorland Community Centre

A NEW community centre and apartment block for older people is coming to Moorland Road in Splott, on the site of Moorland Community Centre.

The four-storey development will include community facilities on the ground floor and 13 independent living apartments for older people above.

Plans to demolish the existing community centre were approved by Cardiff council at February’s planning committee.

Ward councillors have said the new community centre and apartments are needed but one nearby resident has concerns.

Sadie Jones, 33, bought her house on Habershon Street after the consultation period for the plans.

“We bought the property before realising. We didn’t know about it. I was never consulted, it would have been the previous people, so it was quite a shock to us,” said Ms Jones.

“I think the only issue is the height of the building and the difference it would make to natural sunlight that we get through our bedroom at the front.

“So, our concerns were whether people can see into our bedroom and how it impacts any daylight and natural light that comes in.”

The existing Moorland Community Centre on Moorland Road, Splott.

However, she is glad that the plans include a replacement for the existing community centre.

“I think that’s still really crucial. It’s a fundamental part of our community and we should be having local centres for people to come together,” she said.

A council spokesperson said: “The report to planning committee considered in detail the relationship between the new development and existing residential properties.

“While there may be some impacts, these would be outweighed by the benefits of delivering 13 affordable units for older persons together with the replacement of an old building with a brand-new facility to serve the current needs of the community.”

Splott councillor Huw Thomas said the current building was not suitable for a community centre.

“The Moorland Community Centre delivers a valuable and much-loved service for many older people in Splott, but it has been clear for some time that the building itself is no longer fit for purpose,” he said.

“The heating system is creaking for example, and simply changing a light bulb in the current hall requires scaffolding to be erected.”

Council officer Alexandra Richards said at the planning committee meeting that the centre was a “poor and partially dilapidated building”.

Moorland Community Centre, Splott, will be demolished to make way for the new community centre and apartments.

The new centre will have a community space, office facilities, kitchen and medical suite.

While the centre is being built, activities provided at the old centre will be moved to another site in Splott so that residents do not miss out.

A council spokesperson said: “Work on the development will not begin until an interim location has been agreed for the community group who currently use the existing centre. Once this has been achieved, demolition of the building and construction of the new facility is expected to begin at the end of this year.

“The development is expected to take around 14 months to complete, during which time the community centre will continue to deliver services at an alternative location in the area.”

The team at the community centre has been involved with the design of the new centre, according to Coun Thomas.

Ray Millett, who lives just next to the site of the new building, has no issues with the four-storey height.

The 65-year-old said: “It was mentioned that it was going to be for pensioners or old people so as long as they keep it to that then great, fine. It doesn’t matter.”

The flats will be allocated to people over 55 and on the city’s housing waiting list, according to a Cardiff Council spokesperson.

The 13 apartments on the first, second and third floors will have their own balcony and one or two bedrooms.

Coun Thomas said: “We know there is huge demand for council housing in our area, and especially so for specialised accommodation for older people.

“By enabling older people to continue living independently in the community, we make a significant positive impact on their quality of life, whilst increasing the overall availability of council housing in the ward.”

Splott councillor Jane Henshaw said: “Moorland Community Centre is a busy, well-used community centre. I’m delighted that we have the opportunity to replace the old community centre with a new centre that will better serve the needs of users, including a new kitchen, staff facilities and an office.

“At the same time, I’m delighted that we have the opportunity to build 13, much needed, older persons’ apartments.”