Cardiff relies on brownfield expansion

A total of 16,800 new homes are required in Cardiff over the next 13 years, according to the city's draft unitary development plan, which states that most should be on brownfield sites.

Cardiff County Council's draft plan, placed on deposit last week, says this level of development is required to keep pace with the Welsh capital's growth. Cardiff has been booming recently and the council is keen to support further economic buoyancy.

The plan says that 60 per cent of new housing should be built on brownfield land, although a major urban extension is planned for the north-east of the city.

Julian Stedman, the council's operational manager for strategic planning, said: "We have an ongoing commitment to the regeneration of Cardiff Bay, and most of the brownfield development will happen there. A fair proportion of the brownfield target already has planning permission, so we are confident that we will achieve the 60-40 split."

But Derek Ball, planning director at the Cardiff office of consultants RPS, warned: "There is not a great deal of brownfield land left. There is still land available in Cardiff Bay, but this is rapidly being developed."

Located between Lisvane and Pontprennau, the planned urban extension will comprise 4,000 new homes, along with public transport and community facilities. "We came to the conclusion that this would be a sustainable solution," says Stedman. "It will be a major urban extension, and something that will be developed over a long period of time."

The scheme also takes forward plans for Wales's first green belt, between Cardiff and Newport and to the north of the city. Planners hope that this will prevent coalescence between the two cities.

Andrew Muir, managing director of Cardiff-based consultant Harmers, argued that the allocation could restrict options for long-term development.

"How much room is there for growth?" he asked. "Greenfield development will always be necessary because we need a choice of new types of housing."

Cardiff Unitary Development Plan can be viewed via

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