Wales’ ‘oldest’ station to become office block despite protests

CONTROVERSIAL plans to convert a Grade II* listed station building and former railway preservation base in Cardiff into office space and shop units have been given the go ahead, despite objections from historians and conservationists.

An artist’s impression of the planned extension to the restored Bute Road station building. TONY KING ARCHITECTS LTD

Cardiff Council planners have given ABA Holdings Ltd listed building consent and full planning permission to refurbish the Bute Street station building in Cardiff Bay – believed to have been designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel – and add a connected four-storey building to provide retail space and offices alongside.

The council waived aside objections from organisations including the Ancient Monuments Society and the Victorian Society, which listed the derelict structure as one of the 10 most endangered buildings in England and Wales.

Historic Bute Road station has been derelict for two decades, since railway revivalists moved out to Barry Island, after it failed to become a national rail museum for Wales. VICTORIAN SOCIETY

The Victorian Society pointed out that the station was used by the first steam-powered passenger train service in Wales and therefore played a vital role in the development of modern-day Cardiff.

It was from near the site that the first train ran in October 1840, when the Taff Vale Railway opened the line to Abercynon, extending to Merthyr Tydfil – then the largest town in South Wales – in April 1841. The TVR set up its headquarters at Bute road in 1870.

The station’s listed status was conferred on it because it is regarded as an exceptionally early surviving example of purpose-built railway architecture in Wales.

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