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Plans to double size of car park at Cardiff Bay split local opinion

  (Artist impression of what the proposed new Mermaid Quay car park building could look like)

Plans to double the size of a car park at Cardiff Bay have split local opinion, with businesses hoping for more visitors and residents worrying about pollution.

The Mermaid Quay car park, on Stuart Street, could have an extra two storeys built on top of it, and an extension to the rear — going from 372 spaces to 682.

The extra 310 spaces includes 20 electric charging points. The extension would also provide new spaces to lock 52 bicycles. The overall height of the car park would increase from 6.5 metres and two storeys to 10.5 metres and four storeys.

A petition against the plans was signed by 214 people. The petition said the car park would lead to more traffic, overshadow nearby homes, worsen congestion, and increase noise and air pollution.

But local businesses Techniquest, Wagamama, and Fabulous Welshcakes are supporting the plans to extend the car park.

In a letter to planners at Cardiff council, a spokesman for Techniquest said: “The proposed extension to the car park will almost double the number of spaces available to people visiting the Bay, including Techniquest. The development also includes a much-improved facade that can only enhance the appearance of the car park.”

The Wagamama restaurant on Mermaid Quay is also supporting the plans.

Lindsey Neil Jones, Wagamama’s assistant general manager, said: “Parking is limited at the best of times for our staff and guests in the Bay area, and due to several exciting new developments occurring in the area, we will be expecting far greater footfall. We do not want a lack of parking options to be a driver in limiting access to our restaurant.”

However, Butetown councillor Saeed Ebrahim is objecting to the plans, and wrote to the council on behalf of people living in his ward.

Cllr Ebrahim said: “I have concerns about the size of the extension and the impact this will have on the immediate local area, in particular air quality and noise potential.

“The proposed extension would have a detrimental impact on the homes in the surrounding area, overlooking neighbouring properties and causing a loss of privacy and considerable overshadowing.”

Andrew Mifsud lives next to the car park, and complained of the current impact of car fumes on Adelaide Street. He said: “I live next to the car park and the proposals to make it into a multi-storey car park would encroach on the lighting and privacy of my property. I’m unable to put my washing out because of the fumes of the cars.

“I’m a childminder, and the children play outside, so I do not wish for people to be able to look into my garden. It would block the light coming into the garden and make it look very dark. It would also increase pollution.”

Councillors on the planning committee will consider the application to extend the car park at a public meeting on Wednesday, July 22, when they will decide whether to grant permission.

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