Seven terraced houses remain untouched despite huge development in city centre

Terraced housing untouched by development

Terraced housing has been left untouched by a new development (Image: WalesOnline/Rob Browne)

A row of seven terraced will be left untouched despite construction of a huge new development in a city centre.

More than 1,000 plush apartments, 50 bars and restaurants and a university campus is being built in the heart of Cardiff in what is the biggest development in the city in decades. Rightacres, the multi-millionaire developer, is though keen to keep housing adjacent to the site.

Sandra Gee-Wing and husband Rob brought up their children on the street and still live in the home. They couple have lived there since the mid 1970s.

“I’m not opposed to it [the development],” Rob, 79, said.

“If I could click my fingers and it would be done, great. They reckon it will be another six or seven years until they are anywhere near it. They say it won’t be long, and I suppose six years isn’t long in their eyes. I certainly don’t think I’ll be here when it’s done.

“This street used to be twice as long as it is now.”

Houses on adjacent streets have been demolished as a result of the work, Wales Online reports.

Rob Gee-Wing and Sandra

Residents on the street shared their views (Image: WalesOnline/Rob Browne)

Rob continued: “These houses are going to remain here. The people who live here don’t want to sell them.

“I’ll only leave here when they put me in the ground. I think so anyway. I get occasions when it’s a bit noisy when I think I’ll go but we will probably be here until the bitter end.” 

Residents on the adjacent streets were offered “big money” to move out, Rob understands.

But the man and his neighbours were defiant when Rightacres approached them.

Rob said: “They wanted to knock this down too. They wanted to buy all these houses at one point. I think they offered the market price and half on top as well. We all said no. Now they say they’re going to bring this street in to the development.

“The house on the end actually belongs to the new developers but they said for us to do what we want with it so we rent it out and it goes towards renovating the houses, washing our cars with all the muck that gets going on this street.”

Sandra Gee-Wing says she has loved living in the area

Sandra Gee-Wing says she has loved living in the area (Image: WalesOnline/Rob Browne)

The land used to be home to two breweries – one for SA Brains and another owned by Hancock’s.

Sandra said: “With the brewery and all that you get used to it, it’s the level of traffic that has changed. To be fair to the developers they do stop working at a reasonable time.”

“It’s changed dramatically, especially now with all the building work going on and all the noise. Traffic is horrendous at the moment and with all the banging and bumping but they do stop at reasonable times.”

Sandra and Rob, the longest-serving residents on the street, have nostalgia for the memories of their home and the breweries opposite.

“I do miss it a bit because it was very friendly then and they (the breweries) did accommodate us. We’d go into their little pub and have meetings, there would be a fair sometimes and things like that,” Sandra added.

David Kitchin bought a property on the street in 2016

David Kitchin bought a property on the street in 2016 (Image: WalesOnline/Rob Browne)

David Kitchin only bought his property on the street in 2016. Just years later plans were submitted by the developer.

David said: “I bought this house because it’s just in the most unique location. At the moment, it doesn’t look like it’s in a particularly very nice area. And I suppose that is the case. But once this development is done, this is just going to be one of the most unique streets in the city, in my opinion.

“I’m very much for it, it’s going to completely change the area. The brewery only used a fraction of the site. So it was just filled with rats and seagulls and buildings that were falling down. So anything that they do in there is going to be an improvement, it’s going to bring people to the area, which is what we need, because people bring money and opportunity. So I think it’s gonna be a fantastic improvement.”

On its site, Rightacres describe Central Quay as “a place for new generations and new thinking from which opportunity and inspiration will radiate” and that it will create a “new neighbourhood” within the city. With the plans to create new office space, a transport hub link with the train station and bus station when completed and the central square district – as well as the new university campus thought to be earmarked by Cardiff Metropolitan University – David thinks the plan can only be a good thing to integrate more people to the city.

“You’ve got residential, we’ve got pubs, bars, restaurants, I think there’s a university, there’s office space. So it’s bringing people to live here, work here, which is going to be so great for the city. When I look at, when I look at all these buildings, I just see jobs, opportunities, people coming into the area spending money. And this is just going to do the same. I think it’s a fantastic improvement.”

Speaking to BusinessLive in October 2021, Rightacres’ chief executive, Paul McCarthy said: “The demand from institutional investors for residential developments on this scale is unprecedented and Central Quay’s proximity to Cardiff’s central transport hub, city centre and waterfront presents a unique opportunity for investors and operators in the build-to-rent market to offer very high quality residential accommodation to their prospective tenants.”

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