Plans have been approved to knock down a Victorian pub on City Road in Roath, in another blow to the city’s historical heritage.

The Roath Park pub is on the corner of City Road and Kincraig Street, and was previously run by SA Brain.

Last year, developers applied for planning permission from Cardiff council to demolish the pub and build a seven-storey block of flats.

They later withdrew that application, and applied instead to demolish it without building anything in its place. The council’s planning department granted permission this week.

The demolition application has drawn heavy criticism from the Cardiff Civic Society. 

Sixty local residents also wrote to the council to object.

One said: “This is part of the historical fabric of the city and our identity and it is a disgrace to our generation to allow these beautiful buildings of our community to be destroyed, for what? For the financial gains of faceless corporations who care nothing for this city.”

Another said: “The Roath Park pub is a historic building with a legacy of being a longstanding community hub, both as a pub and as a venue for artistic and creative events. Unless the proposed development intends to retain aspects of this purpose, there is the risk it will be contributing to the ongoing harmful gentrification of our city.”

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City Road has changed a lot over the past few years, with another historic pub being demolished. The Poets Corner, further down the road, was knocked down in 2016 ostensibly to make way for student flats, although these have not yet been built.

The Poets was run by Greene King, who also owned another pub on the other side of Cardiff which shut down at a similar time. The Corporation, on Cowbridge Road, closed in 2018 but has this week reopened as a small market for independent traders, renamed Corp Market.

Several councillors criticised the plans to knock down the Roath Park, including council leader Huw Thomas, who last year tweeted: “It would be a real shame to lose a historic pub like that.”

Labour councillors representing Roath also campaigned to oppose the planning application, ultimately unsuccessfully. One problem is the council’s planning department currently has little power to prevent property owners demolishing historic buildings, like the Roath Park.

A council spokesperson said: “The planning department does not have any power to stop a private landowner demolishing their own building, as this is deemed as ‘permitted development’ under planning legislation. 

"Attempts were made to list the building by interested parties but Cadw decided that it had been ‘heavily altered’ since it was first built and that it was not considered of sufficient national historic and/or architectural significance to merit Listed Building Status. The only power the Council does have, is to agree how the building is demolished by the developer to ensure all health and safety requirements are met.“

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