A block of apartments planned in a Victorian conservation area in Cardiff has sparked hundreds of objections.
The plans for Cathedral Road include building 33 flats over two apartment buildings and three new townhouses. Developers want to demolish 39A and the rear annexes of 37 and 39 on the street.
But that part of Pontcanna is covered by a conservation area, which is supposed to protect the local historical and architectural heritage.
The buildings currently there were built in the Gothic revival style. According to the design statement included in the plans, Cathedral Road was developed in the late 19th century by the third Marquess of Bute, under tight controls of the style of architecture.
As the new apartments would “jar” with the rest of the street, neighbours, councillors and campaigners have written to Cardiff council, objecting to the application for planning permission.
Writing to the council, Jude Wood said: “Our neighbourhood is noted as being one of the finest Victorian and Edwardian neighbourhoods in Wales and is a designated conservation area — Cathedral Road Conservation Area — which affords it special protection.
“This proposed development represents a lost opportunity to improve this section of Cathedral Road, which is recognised as one of the finest Victorian highways in Britain.
“The very reason the developers want to build as many flats as possible is because the conservation area commands a high property value, almost entirely due to its well held Victorian beauty. Ironically, the new flats will be an ugly blot on the area.”
Riverside councillor Iona Gordon said: “There are special planning controls in the area and a high standard of design is required for new buildings. The use of red brick and the colour chosen is totally out of place in Cathedral Road.”
The plans also attracted criticism for chopping down several mature trees. Developers however said they would replace them with new trees.
Cllr Gordon said: “The mature tree canopy has great value in fixing carbon and mitigating the effects of climate change. Cathedral Road is a main road into the city and the trees help with air quality.
“The proposed replacement trees, while attractive, will not replace the carbon reduction capacity for many years.”
Nerys Lloyd-Pierce, chair of Cardiff Civic Society, said: “To award planning permission for this development would fail to give weight to the environmental and social benefits that the trees contribute to this community.
“The council needs to consider the role these trees have in acting as a carbon sink for vehicles and other emissions, particularly as replacement trees wouldn’t reach maturity in a timeframe that would offset the effects of climate change.”