This is a community website for Grangetown in Cardiff, highlighting people, business, community activities, local news and things to do in the area and linking other websites and blogs.

We live locally; this is a voluntary project - in connection with Grangetown Community Action - free and independent. We are the online presence of the long-running Grangetown News community paper, which has been distributed to 6,500 local homes every four months for 40 years. E-mail us on grangetowncardiff@yahoo.co.uk if you'd like to help, are local or would like to send any contributions for inclusion, or wish to advertise. Also if you'd like to be included FREE in our DIRECTORY,

You can also follow us on Twitter @grangecardiff and look for Grangetown Community Action on Facebook. We have a growing number of followers and are keen to encourage a social network to promote Grangetown community events, activities, issues, businesses and organisations.

 

Residents campaign against 'overbearing' flats plans

Dozens of residents have objected to proposals to build 74 flats on the site of the soon-to-be-demolished Track 2000 site off Penarth Road.

Although the height has been reduced down to a maximum six storeys and the number of flats dropped by 12, residents are still unhappy about the height, traffic congestion and the Bottleworks building not blending in with Edwardian properties.

A petition was launched, ahead of the deadline for objections on December 13th and 84 comments were also received.

Residents also engaged planning experts to argue about loss of light to some properties in Pentre Gardens.

Meanwhile, Cardiff Civic Society has also objected, calling it "overbearing" and "unsympathetic to the area." It bemoans the lack of meaningful planting and green space. Chair Nerys Lloyd-Pierce adds: "We can surely do better than this in the 21st century."

Residents say they are not opposed to any development – but want something smaller in scale and more in keeping. They have pointed to more modest developments on the old Inn on the River and FA Jones sites.

Rightacres believe their plans are a “stepping stone” which “ticks boxes in respect of the sustainable and regeneration initiatives.”

The number of parking places have been increased to 57, mostly in a basement carpark, but campaigners believe it could mean 148 extra vehicles using Pentre Gardens. They have dubbed the planned building “Bottleneck”.

Local councillors Ashley Lister and Lynda Thorne have also expressed their concerns and attended a packed public meeting during an earlier consulation phase. Assembly member Neil McEvoy has added his objection, saying the building "will dominate the immediate skyline."

Residents were unhappy the developers refused a meeting after their final plans were submitted. “We’re not against change, but really feel that Grangetown is disappearing and being swallowed up by city centre developments, like Central Square which is now dominated by huge buildings, with more to be developed,” long-time residents Annette and Edward Woodyatt told Grangetown News

Another Jan Birch told us: “New housing in Grangetown should be family friendly. In Grangetown we have schools and parks and play areas fit for kids and extended families, and they are all well used. The new development, as I understand it, is completely at odds with this.”

Another resident in his objection said: "I have watched some changes over 27 years I've lived in Pentre Gardens but nothing comes as close as this - I mean you might as well build a prison wall around us."

With an eye to the forthcoming Central Quay brewery development, as far as the river bank opposite, many residents are expressing worries that this latest proposal is a step too far.

“Grangetown has been historically separated by the natural boundary of the Taff,” said another resident, Simon Newman.

He worries that “mediocre” flats developments in the city centre were in danger of “creeping” across the river.

He said the main front of the Bottleworks would look towards Central Quay “with which it evidently identifies.” He added: “In doing so, this development self consciously turns it’s back on the residential community upon which it is being imposed.”

Residents will take their case to the planning committee in the New Year.

Bottleworks Wharf would be named after a bottle works which was once near to the site and involve a mix of one-bedroom and two bedroom rented flats. The developers say it would continue "ongoing regeneration" and provide a "much needed housing option in a highly sustainable location close to the city centre."

A 12-storey block of apartments had originally been suggested but this is thought to have been an opening bargaining position which was reduced after initial consultation with council officials and also concerns from local residents.

At a pre-planning consultation public meeting, Councillor Lynda Thorne said it was important for residents to focus on planning grounds to their objections and not let emotions get in the way.

She said it was unlikely the proposal could be defeated on the issue of parking - given current guidelines - but there were other objections such as the height of the proposed building and for the design to be more in keeping with homes around it.

Some residents said the development marked a "tipping point" for Grangetown, with worries about overcrowding.

There was also some derision for the attempt to design a warehouse look and call it a "wharf."


A packed meeting - residents had to be moved to a bigger room and it was still standing room only.

Before the plans eventually go to the council committee, residents will take up an offer from the developer of a contribution towards hiring an independent planning expert. A site meeting is also expected to be held before any decision is taken.

Reaction from local residents so far includes:

  • "It's just too big."
  • "The area is already saturated with traffic at most times of the day."
  • "Although the looks of the designs are quite nice, this design is not suited to this particular area and will be clashing with the existing architecture of surrounding streets. There is no need for high buildings in the area, it will look out of place and will make the area lose even more sunlight;"
  • "The proposed building just doesn't fit with the look of the area and the cynic in my wonders if this is just a money-making exercise with no thought for the current residents."

The developers will be arguing that in scale it will be a "mirror image" of the Unity student flats which were built 10 years ago on the site of the old Avana Bakery in Pendyris Street, a quarter of a mile away. Residents were reminded at the meeting that the student development was reduced in size after objections. They are worried this will have more visual impact - and also signal a step-change in the size of developments crossing over into Grangetown.

The development would include 41 parking spaces - 20 within a basement - and 90 cycle stands. Residents are worried though that the parking access will be via Pentre Gardens and are worried it will create congestion. Councillors will ask for highways officials to take a close look at the likely impact.

Rightacres in their consultation document say: "Importantly the development of this site will illustrate that development does not stop at the river bridge as it crosses into Grangetown and whilst this development is modest in scale compared with the Brewery Quarter and Central Square developments, it makes a stepping stone in scale between these and the traditional housing stock of Grangetown."


This shows the original design for the height of the flats, next to the current proposal

The site has attracted issues around prostitution and anti-social behaviour over a long period and many residents are keen to something built on the site - it is not the principle but the scale of what's proposed which is the problem.

Day-by-day

Wednesday 19th December: St Paul’s Church Choir Christmas Concert - Wednesday 19th December, 7.30pm - St Paul’s, Paget Street.

Friday 21st December: St Patrick’s Church, Mass 10am; Sacrament of Reconciliation 10.30am, 6pm.

Saturday 22nd December: St Patrick’s, Mass and Sacrament of Reconciliation, 6.30pm.

Sunday December 23rd: Carols for everyone, 6pm - Salvation Army; Traditional Lessons and Carols by Candlelight, St Paul’s, Paget Street

Monday 24th December/Christmas Eve: Family Crib Service, 4pm - St Paul’s, Paget Street; Mass, St Patrick’s Church, 7pm; Christmas Vigil Mass, 7pm - St Dyfrig and St Samson, Pentre Gardens; Christingle Service Salvation Army, 11pm; Midnight Mass, 11.30pm - St Paul’s, Paget Street.

Tuesday 25th December/Christmas Day: Christmas Eucharist with Carols, 10am - St Paul’s, Paget Street; Christmas Day service at 10.30am - Salvation Army. Mass at St Patrick’s, 10am.

Saturday 19th January: Keep Grangetown Tidy monthly litter-pick, 10am - meet by Cornwall Street/Dorset St. All welcome


The Cinema at Tramshed - A new cinema programme has started, showing some of the best arthouse and classic films, alongside special presentations. click here for listings and to buy tickets online.


Live events at Tramshed - including Martin Kemp, Ronnie Spector, Gilles Peterson, Hot 8 Brass Band. click here for details.

Regular events:

Mondays: Friends and Neighbours (FAN) group at Grangetown Hyb, 9.30am to 10.30am and at Grange Pavilion, 11am to 12pm; Dementia Cafe, St Paul's Community Hall, first Monday of the month, 1.30pm-3pm. Monthly drop-in for anyone affected by dementia. Hosted by Alzheimer's Society and Dementia Care. The cafe is run by volunteers and has been supported by funds raised in memory of the late Brenda Griffiths, a lovely lady who latterly suffered from dementia.

Grangetown Community Choir, Cornwall St church hall, 7.30pm-9.30pm. All weclome, relaxed, harmonious environment. £70 for term, from 18th September, payment options available. Email paulinedown7@gmail.com

Tuesdays: Exercise for Beginners, Grangetown Health Centre, 10.30am–11.30am. Weekly sessions to improve your mobility/flexibility and get advice on simple exercise routines that you can do at home.
Beatball Kids - for girls, Channel View Leisure Centre, 4pm-5pm (£1 per week, girls aged 7-11 only) Mixing fitness, dance and football

Grangetown Running Club, meets Channel View 6.15pm warm-up for 6.30pm start. Friendly and easy-paced group, ideal for beginners. Cost £1. Meets weekly.

9th Cardiff Brownies and Guides, St Samson's church hall, Pentre Gardens, 6-7.30pm. For girls aged 7-10, 10 to 14.

Grangetown Book Club, Grangetown Hub, 6pm First Tuesday of each month, December's book - The Commitments by Roddy Doyle.

Wednesdays:

Baby massage and baby yoga group, Grangetown Hyb, 1pm. Includes Welsh vocab and songs, suitable for babies under nine months. Email: rhian.arwel@meithrin.cymru. Six weeks from start of February.

Cardiff Dance Stars - Ballet and Lyrical Dance, ages 4-6, 4pm; Modern and Lyrical Dance, ages 7-12, 5pm - at Grangetown Hub, Havelock Place. Qualified dance classes for children, www.cardiffdancestars.weebly.com

Welsh Taster and Beginners courses, Channel View leisure centre, 7pm-9pm. Introduction to Welsh - particularly aimed at parents with children at Welsh-medium school. From October/November 2017 until July and October 2018. Cost £177, intalments possible.

Pub Quiz, The Grange Pub, 8.30pm. Weekly quizzes, with a different quiz-master every week.

Thursdays: The Great Brains Speed Quiz, The Cornwall pub, 8pm. First Thursday of every month. Prizes.

Fridays: Grangetown Food Bank, Grangetown Baptist Church, Clive Street, 12pm-2pm. Weekly foodbank, organised by Cardiff Foodbank

Grangetown FAN group, Salvation Army - Women only. Starting at 10am with an English language class then 11am for a FAN meeting. Fluent English speakers welcome too!

Grangetown Afterschool Club/Full Circle Education, Grange Pavilion, Grange Gardens, 3.30pm-5pm. Brand new girls club, perfect for girls who love arts and crafts, games, music, photography, sports and making friends. If you would like any more information, please email: Nikki@FullCircleEducation.org

Cardiff Dance Stars - Acro and Gymnastic Dance, ages 5-12, 4.15pm; at Grangetown Hub, Havelock Place. Qualified dance classes for children, www.cardiffdancestars.weebly.com

Cook At Church, St Paul's Community Hall, 5.30pm-7.30pm - first Friday of month. For children aged 10 and 11 to learn cooking skills and have fun

Sundays: Last Sunday of the month - Repair Cafe, Hideout Cafe, Grange Pavilion, Grange Gardens, 12pm-4pm. Volunteers fix things that would otherwise be thrown away. In doing so, they help save the environment, share skills with people that need things fixed, and meet like-minded people. We are looking for local residents who can repair or fix: Clothing/textiles, bicycles, electrical appliances, furniture/woden objects, toys, PCs /laptops. Contact: Moss 07907489346 or Joe 07868206627 if you can lend a hand.

Second Sunday of the month - Ponder with a Pint, The Grange pub, 6pm. Hosted by Fr David Morris of St Paul's Church, a monthly informal discussion group talking about issues and religion-related topics.


Email your local events to grangetowncardiff@yahoo.co.uk. For regular events, meetings and classes - including a listing for Grangetown Library Hub - see our directory.

'Watch how you feed the swans' plea after rise in rats

Pest control officials are patrolling the Taff Embankment after a rise in rats in recent weeks.

Residents have reported vermin in their gardens and seeing them in the street - and the problem has been put down to people feeding the swans and other birds which congregate by the side of the Taff.

One local resident said she had been forced to buy a cat to try to solve the problem - and she posted a photo of a rat caught in her garden that afternoon. Another said: "I walked along the embankment last night and counted at least 30 rats, including babies happily munching away alongside the swans, no fear of the birds and no fear of humans either."

Councillors have also warned people not to leave scraps of food or bread out - as it was causing problems. This is on top of the usual issues involving litter from discarded food.

Councillor Ashley Lister said: "I have spoken with officers who have confirmed that all sewers and open cavities around the Taff Embankment area have now been baited."

He said they would also be working with waste management officers to discourage feeding of swans and birds, as well as looking at other options.

People are also reminded that feeding bread to birds and swans can be bad for them.

Winter edition of Grangetown News out

The winter edition of Grangetown's new-look community newspaper is out - in what is the publication's 40th year.

Copies are distributed to 6,500 homes, shops and businesses. It is also be available in Grangetown Hub, local shops, venues and pubs and you will be able to view an online version above.

Now called Grangetown News, the first edition of the new-look 16-page full-colour tabloid newspaper came out in May 2016. Published by Grangetown Community Action, it has been a quarterly magazine format since 1978. With the help of the Community Gateway team and the university's Community Journalism department, a lively group of residents and students met to produce ideas for the summer edition.

Thanks for all those who have contributed and advertised - and also to our volunteer deliverers. If you can help deliver - we need people for some streets in north Grangetown and also Paget Street who can spare half an hour- email grangetowncardiff@yahoo.co.uk

Should you have a local news story or would like to tell the community about your organisation or school then our paper is a perfect way of reaching people!you are a local business/organisation who would like to advertise to the local community our paper is an ideal place to place an advert.

 Our rates are listed below:
  1/8 page - £40
1/4 page - £70
1/2 page - £110
1 full page - £200
1 full back page - £250

  The Grangetown News is still printed 100% in COLOUR, but is printed in a tabloid format, making your articles and adverts larger than ever! This is a pilot project which will hopefully allow us to increase readership through spreading more positive, local news stories. The latest edition is 16 pages. All articles submitted should be in a Word document (or jpeg for images / designed adverts - All images to be supplied high-quality 600dpi, colour pictures converted to CMYK) and sent to grangetowncardiff@yahoo.co.uk.

If you would like to discuss advertising in the Grangetown News, please feel free to contact grangetowncardiff@yahoo.co.uk, or call Ashley on 07572875804.

As well as more local news stories, there are features on local businesses and also sport. The paper has also been designed by Grangetown residents. Online versions of the features - with more photos - will also be put up later on this website But it's not too late if you want to get involved:

  • We are looking for volunteer deliverers - if you can deliver the paper to your street (which in many cases should take a few minutes), let us know.
  • Let us know if you are a local shop or business happy to stock copies of the free paper. It will be available too from Grangetown Library and Hub. The last edition was also available in The Cornwall, Inmas and the Polish supermarket, Clarence Hardware and the Pumphouse antiques off Penarth Rd. Email grangetowncardiff@yahoo.co.uk
  • If you'd like to contribute, if you have an ideas, or would like to get involved in writing, photos or production (those with knowledge of InDesign software would be particularly welcome!), we have started planning then next edition - due out in the New Year.
  • You can also email us on grangetowncardiff@yahoo.co.uk or feedback on Facebook (Grangetown Community Action) or Twitter @grangecardiff

City guides: Cardiff Council BIG Cardiff Cardiffians (history/photos) Cardiff city map Cardiff Pubs Real Cardiff
Media: BBC Wales News Wales Online The Cardiffian (Student journalism newspaper) Buzz magazine Local links: Butetown, Riverside, Grangetown Communities First
Grangetown Local History Society The Grangetown Flickr Group
Misc links and interesting city blogs: Anecdotal City Cardiff Third Sector Council Peter Finch We Are Cardiff Brew Wales Pint of 45 (Cardiff pub blog)
Other Cardiff community websites: Cathays Danescourt Lisvane Pobol Caerdydd Radyr Roath Rumney Splott St Mellons Tongwynlais Whitchurch/Llandaff North

© Grangetown Community Action and webmaster 2018. Last updated December 16th