Plasdŵr forms part of Cardiff Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP), which identified key areas of the city as strategic sites for development. Building on these strategic sites is key to Cardiff’s economic growth and development.
Over the last 10 years Cardiff’s population grew by 12%, and its population is projected to continue to grow by over 20% in the next 20 years – faster than any other major British city apart from London. This increase in population (73,000 people) will be greater than all other 21 local authorities in Wales combined (69,000).
Recent years have seen a large amount of investment in Cardiff, with the development of the St David’s shopping centre, Central Square, Capital Quarter and the revival of Mermaid Quay and the Bay. This investment, and the new opportunities it has created, has contributed to population growth – around 90% is thought to be due to people moving to Cardiff to live, work and study.
In addition to the people living in the city, an estimated 98,300 people commute to Cardiff for work from other parts of Wales and the UK, and more than 18 million people visit Cardiff each year as tourists, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK. With a growing number of national and international events taking place in the city, these numbers are only set to increase.
While this level of growth and investment is exciting for Cardiff and Wales as a whole, it poses a significant challenge. In order to support Cardiff’s growth, new homes, services and improved transport infrastructure will be essential.
Plasdŵr will provide up to 7,000 new homes of different types and sizes, including family homes, townhouses and apartments. Around 30% of these will be classed as affordable housing of mixed tenures and types. These homes are vital to ensuring people moving to the city, as well as people already residing in Cardiff, have quality places to live. Provision of facilities for Cardiff’s increasing number of residents will also be vital to the city’s growth. Plasdŵr will have four new primary schools – the first of which is currently under consultation – and a secondary school. The district centre will also see healthcare facilities, cafes, shops, restaurants and community facilities.
Cardiff’s growth has put considerable pressure on transport infrastructure that was originally designed to support a population of 200,000 people. As part of its plans for growth, Cardiff Council has proposed a new, integrated transport system which would see a Crossrail service running across the city, connecting communities from the north west to the south east. These plans include two Crossrail stations within Plasdŵr, providing a direct link with Cardiff Central station and the city centre. There will also be increased bus services, park and rides and Nextbike points.
Active travel also plays a big part in these plans. Cardiff Council is working towards a modal shift in how we travel, the aim is for 50% of journeys to be made sustainably – by public transport, car sharing, walking or cycling – with only 50% single-use car journeys. The transport strategy for Plasdŵr has been underpinned by this model from the beginning; the development has been designed to make walking and cycling the easiest ways to get around, followed by using the bus. Cycleways will run through Plasdŵr and link with strategic routes beyond the development to make it easy for people to travel around the city sustainably.
Plasdŵr is just one of several large-scale developments planned across the city to support Cardiff’s growth. As it takes shape over the next 20 years, it will become a new community and a unique place to live, offering homes and services to people in the city at an exciting time of growth.