Plans for a major development on the outskirts of Cardiff – including a new £120m mainline train station and huge business district –have made significant progress this week.
The massive project set for St Mellons could create up to 5,000 jobs in a nearly one million sq ft development named Hendre Lakes.
As well as dozens of new offices and leisure space the development would be home to the much-anticipated Cardiff Parkway mainline railway station.
Plans for the development have been submitted to Cardiff council this week and, should they be accepted, work could begin later this year.
The development would be built in phases over eight years. The first phase would include the train station and could begin this year and be finished in 2023. There will be no residential element to the project.
Should it be approved in its current form the station would be located on the existing south Wales to London Great Western mainline that runs through the 160-acre site.
Members of the public can comment on the plans on the council’s website, and the council’s planning committee will soon vote on whether to grant permission for the development, although it is not yet clear when.
The new Cardiff Parkway is expected to welcome more than 800,000 passengers and aims to have a significant impact on reducing road congestion.
The station would be part of the South Wales Metro and will also benefit from bus facilities, walking routes and cycle paths.
Trains from Cardiff Parkway would take around seven minutes to the city centre as well as offering speedy access to Newport.
The train station would have four platforms and would see regular services to Bristol and London. It would be the first station between Cardiff and Newport since Marshfield closed in 1959.
The project has been in pre-planning consultation with Cardiff council and Natural Resources Wales for the past two years and the local authority has already identified the site as a major employment hub in its local development plan.
According to developers Arup a significant proportion of the development will be reserved for green space. This will include open and accessible spaces, sustainable drainage and open water as part of the new landscapes, and the ability for wildlife species and habitats to be developed into the project.
Cardiff Parkway railway station is being delivered in the context of the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal which will deliver £1.2bn worth of public investment. Over half the investment will be put towards the development of the South East Wales Metro.
The development is set to be made up of four key areas: the business square, business campus, the main park and ‘wildlife corridors’.
Station Square will be the main point of arrival and departure for people coming to Cardiff Hendre Lakes by rail and bus. The development in this area is expected to be a more built-up area compared to the rest of the project with taller buildings and a more ‘urban character’.
In planning documents, developers Arup said: “Cardiff Hendre Lakes will be formed around sustainable travel with seamless access to rail, bus, walking and cycling routes.
“The new Cardiff Parkway station will place new businesses within walking distance of mainline rail services to major cities including Cardiff Central, Newport, Bristol, Manchester and London.
“Situated just seven minutes by train from Cardiff Central and Newport, the station promises to drastically cut journey times to both cities as well as improve connectivity to other areas of Wales and the wider UK.
“Neighbouring communities will be connected to the development and the railway station by new cycle paths and walking routes. Bus facilities will make it easier for local services to call at the station and there will be parking and drop-off facilities.”
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