Looking across the rooftops of the Welsh capital it’s easy to think there’s a construction boom currently underway across Cardiff.
And although the development should be broadly welcomed, Adrian James, the head of the Cardiff office of Bruton Knowles says a lack of diversity with the development means the city is suffering from a lack of private and affordable new homes as well as speculative space for business.
Adrian said: “The work will transform Cardiff city skyline for decades. However, what the city desperately needs is more private and affordable homes plus speculative office space so that businesses can remain in the centre of the city but not at the expense of paying for grade A.
“A lot of SMEs are left struggling to find suitable accommodation in the city centre to allow their businesses to grow and scale-up because there have been so many office conversions in recent years.
“The problem is being exacerbated because of the rise in student conversions which has pushed businesses out of the city.
“Many SMEs are now finding it difficult to source cost effective office space in Cardiff city centre following the conversion of so much of the city’s office space to residential use.
“High-density student schemes can generate higher land prices, which comes at the expense of homes for others who want, and need, to live in the Welsh capital.
“Pushing private residential development out towards the periphery of the city intensifies the already chronic traffic issues experienced at rush hour every day. This will only get worse until proper consideration is given to how people working in Cardiff city centre can get in and out easily.
“There’s a desperate shortage of private residential property being built in the city centre, and the authorities really need to take an urgent look at this and seek to redress the balance.
“What’s needed is the formulation of a full strategic planning policy to shape the delivery of not only student accommodation, but office space and new homes over the next five years.
“A proper plan also needs to be put in place to upgrade the creaky train network as well as improving the main road infrastructure, otherwise the city will grind to a rather abrupt halt.”