Cardiff councillors have given the green light to proposals for a new Morrisons supermarket in Penylan, bringing an estimated 300 jobs to the east of the city.
The council’s planning committee today approved plans for a 6,200 square metre store on the site of a former dairy and Amante Car showroom on Newport Road.
The store, which is expected to open in 2013*, will create 300 part and full time jobs, up to three quarters of which would go to unemployed people.
The supermarket will include a car park with space for 348 cars and a petrol station, and is expected to have an annual turnout over £35.32 million.
Speaking at this afternoon’s planning committee meeting at City Hall, Penylan ward member Councillor Bill Kelloway said the application related to a very prominent site which at the moment was not very attractive to people travelling into Cardiff. He said:
“The area is derelict, and does not give a very good impression to people coming into the city. [The supermarket] would give a lift to people coming into that area of the city.
“But the most compelling argument for this is it will bring badly needed employment into the city at this very difficult time. It will provide something in the region of 300 jobs, but also employment created in the construction phase.”
Committee member Coun Graham Hinchey added:
“I absolutely welcome 300 jobs. Let’s hope they go to young people in the city. It fits in with the new administration’s aims.”
In planning documents, leader of the council Heather Joyce – whose Llanrumney ward borders the site – also leant her support to the development. Coun Joyce and her fellow ward member Derrick Morgan said:
“According to Moirrsons, over 72% of the jobs would be taken by unemployed people and 75% of the jobs would be taken by people living within a three mile radius of the development.”
The proposal was unanimously approved with conditions, including that the developer Tiger Development and Optimisation Developments Ltd contribute £41,600 towards a variable message sign at the junction of Newport Road and Southern Way, and £26,000 towards the relocation of a CCTV camera near Southern Way if the new development obstructs it.
They must also agree to pay £3,120 towards traffic regulation orders and £26,000 towards improvements to the cycle network near the site.
The site of the former dairy on Newport Road has been derelict for the last three years following the demolition of the dairy buildings.
A church group currently uses the former car sales showroom, and there were two objections raised by nearby residents about the loss of the church and community centre, as well as concerns about increased traffic congestion and parking problems.
Residents also highlighted that the site had previously been earmarked for business or industry, but planning officers said the site had been extensively marketed over the last two years, there had been “no substantial long term interest”.
*This report originally stated that the new Morrisons store would be opening in 2017. This report was incorrect, and we are happy to point out that the correct estimated opening date for the store is 2013.
What do you think of a new Morrisons coming to Newport Road? There is already a Sainsbury’s and Lidl on nearby Colchester Avenue, a Tesco store at Pengam Green, an Asda in Pontprennau, and a Mark and Spencer on Newport Road – do we need another supermarket in this area? Is it worth the extra 300 jobs?