Where is your source for this information? The latest planning committee papers are not yet available on the council website.
Agree with what your saying James. Mind you, this isn't the first time the council has made a shocking decision about the Philharmonic Hall. It is an important building in the history of theatre architecture which the council has allowed to be messed around with on numerous occasions.
Planning Committee documents are now up. And yes, the request to extent planning permission hours to 4 AM closing (same as licensing restrictions) are recommended for refusal following an objection from South Wales Police.
Interestingly South Wales Police did not object in 2005 when the licensing application for 4 AM was made. At that time the bottom end of St Mary's Street was far more lively than it currently is. I was in Cardiff last Friday and at 10:30 when you'd expect to see a lot of people out and about having a few drinks St Mary's was very quiet. Not a patch on how it was 5 - 10 years ago. St Mary's Street is hardly more saturated now than then. Whats changed is South Wales Police's attitude. They seem to want an easy life and habitually object to any proposal for an A3 usage, whether its a bar, restaurant, club or live music venue.
Quite simply units like the Square, Life or Liquid are not going to become shops or banks or offices. They're not gonna be restaurants either (too big and too dark). They are only suitable for large scale bars or clubs or music or entertainment venues. If I was a landlord I'd be incredibly frustrated with the police and council. They are basically forcing me to keep my property empty and lose money.
I think some of us should write to the council about the state of the bottom end of St Mary's. In the last few months objections and refusals have prevented a Burlesque/Cabaret venue and now potentially a live music venue. Its keeping empty properties on a street that is now quite down at heel. And it is preventing diversity in Cardiff's night life.
Really really annoyed about this. Something must be done!
Slightly off subject, would anybody happen to remember how long the Square has been closed for?
I seem to remember it closed a couple of days after an NYE party, because for a few years the "booking office" facade still had a "New Years Eve at the Square" poster in the window.
I'm thinking January 2009, Anybody with a better idea?
Planning committee is here:
You can easily email them through the contacts on the right.
These decisions (and the consequence of empty, ugly buildings) are shaming our city and shouldn't be tolerated in my opinion.
Polynesia opened at the weekend, not been in there yet myself though.
Work seems to be continuing on the new kiwi's in what used to be Taurus.
The Ladybird Lounge & Club on Mill Lane, which I think used to be Continentals or Number 10, has installed a system where by they take the finger prints and scan drivers licences of everyone who goes in to prevent crime and underage drinking. The police are suggesting they like this and might suggest the system is installed with new licenses and when existing licences come up for renewal. Potentially venues could then share this information among them so all you need to do is give your finger print and they can confirm you are not a trouble maker and are over a certain age:
I dont like this at all. Why should we have to give venues personal details just to go inside for a drink. Shouldn't we be allowed to keep this type of information to ourselves if we want to? I've experienced this before in bar in London and it gave a bad impression of the place. It was actually a nice bar in a nice area with little evidence of trouble, but it just felt like they were saying they didnt trust you and they were prepared to invade your privacy to permit entrance. If this became more widespread I'd hate Cardiff to have a reputation as being confrontational to visitors, which I think this system is.
Of course if you dont want to give the information then you can just go somewhere else. On the night in London I was with a group of people and really had to follow the crowd, but ordinarily I'd have gone somewhere else and I certainly wont be going to the Ladybird Lounge!
How utterly depressing. Sledgehammer to crack a nut. Is the problem of underage drinking and/or drunken violence so bad in Cardiff that its necessary for us to give up personal liberty to keep us safe?
The answer is no but we seem to be bullied and cajoled into thinking that we stand on the brink of disaster if we don't do something. We are offered draconian measures that fly in the face of our hard won civil rights and we are so feeble minded that we are prepared to accept it. To listen to a DJ and drink over priced piss. Incredible.
And will it solve the 'problem?' Or just move it on? And don't you know that SWP will start to insist that this is introduced whenever there is an application for a licence? Before long it will change from being a commercial decision to a commercial imperative if you want to operate licensed premises. SWP as self appointed moral guardians. They will soon become the equivalent of the Islamic police that run around Tehran beating up girls for daring to show their hair.
And what next? Supermarkets have a problem with shoplifters. Lets get fingerprinted and our personal details taken down everytime we go to Tescos. This is the thin end of the wedge as far as I'm concerned. I think there should be an immediate boycott of all premises that operate this system (which is easy for me to say as I wouldn't go within a country mile of Ladybird in any event).
It's ridiculous, absurd, childish and self-defeating. You treat people like pigs, they behave like pigs.
Unfortunately, thick, illiberal people like police and councillors lap this crap up.
It's nothing new either, I recall this in Bristol several years ago.
Well, judging from the article the thick, illiberal councillor in charge of the planning committee seems to be against the idea.
A place called the Full Moon club has opened in Womamby Street where ShorePebbles and Y Fuwch Goch previously crashed and burned.
In other news its been proposed that the saturation area currently in play in St Mary St be extended to Greyfriars Rd and Churchill Way. See todays Echo. According to the Echo there are only 6 licensed premises in Greyfriars Road but there have been over 250 incidents of violence. Probably 2 of those premises are the Park plaza and the New Theatre - hardly hotspots. In St Mary St there are 55 licensed premises with 385 incidents.
May I respectfully suggest that there is no point in there being a saturation policy in Greyfriars because there aren't actually any premises left that could be turned into A3 usage. May I also respectfully suggest that the police look at the type of premises in Greyfriars Rd and then ask questions of the fuckwits at the Council who thought that a succession of 'super' boozers in one short and narrow road would be a good idea. This was the zoning policy that was supposed to make policing easier.
At least there are already dissenting voices at the council who seem to finally be coming round to the idea that premises selling booze doesn't automatically equate to an increase in violence and disorder. That actually its the way you sell booze, in what volume, at what price and in what atmosphere that causes problems.
This is the story: I've added my comments to it..
Committee members can be emailed here: I think it's well worth doing.
On Churchill Way there were 37 incidents - less than one a week - between 11 establishments.
honestly, that is not a violence hotspot. talk about Orwellian
Using that logic Rhodri the police should be suggesting a block on all manner of things that may obstruct their duty to keep the peace. Shoplifters tend to congregate around places that have a lot of shops. Why not object to new shops opening to solve the problem? Saturation zone in Queen St for example. Probably a shoplifting hotspot. Reduce the number of shops - regardless of what those shops are selling - and hey presto cut the rate of shoplifting.
Car parks are hotspots for car related crime. No new car parks in Cardiff etc etc. I could go on but I would be labouring the point.
The police operate no system of discretion and the council have until lately been blithely following them, jumping on the coattails of media hyperbole about a problem that actually isn't that bad. The saturation zones encompass restaurants, cinemas, places for live music, casino's, vintners, exhibition spaces, galleries. Anywhere that sells booze. By banning these places because of a rigid policy surely that restricts the pallette of people who use Cardiff city centre in the evening thus exacerbating the image that Cardiff is a big open air, rainy Club 18-30.
Has the alcohol licences for the myriad restaurants in SD2 led to huge spikes in violence? If SD2 was built at the lower end of St Mary St it would have been included in the zone.
All anyone is saying is that the police and the council should use their noggins and consider each application on its merits, even issue guidance as to what is likely to be viewed as favourable and what isn't. Instead its a sledgehammer to crack a nut and is very debatable in terms of whether or not it actually furthers the objectives of law and order ie. does the problem just get pushed elsewhere?
I am not disagreeing with anything anyone has said, my point is that the police wish to keep a lid on problems, real or perceived existing or proposed. Its what they do. I agree that their stance is somewhat wonky and the examples given show this.
What there does need to be is a debate (not on here)but in the wider arena on whether the police are there to uphold the law and therefore have a right to influence society or be the law. Anyway I will write to the council urging them to grow a collective pair and try to ensure the city keeps on developing for the widest possible audience!
you really do have a wonderful turn of phrase and I echo your sentiments entirely.
by stopping the development of other types of drinking establishments which may atttract an altogether different demographic the police/council are propogating the very same demographic that they wish to dilute.
You will not get 30 or 40 somethings (or older) venturing too often around St may street thus it is maintained as a potential flashpoint due to younger people congregating. This is in no way disparaging to younger people before some posters descend into apoplexy, it is just stating a fact that the majority of violence related crimes on a Saturday night are from the more youthful demographic. Anything that can dilute that influence should be encouraged not hindered.
The policy should be 'there are no more 18-30 happy hour type places', meaning that restaurants, live music bars (such as the excellent Promised Land), cabaret clubs (such as Minskeys) or even 'gentleman's clubs' (I have no idea of any of the names of the ones in Cardiff ) help create a much more eclectic mix of patron meaning the whole area tends to be a little big more dignified. Compare St Mary Street with Mill Lane, yet they are right next to each other
Just announced - Oceana owner Luminar leisure is entering administration. I wonder what effect that will have on Oceana, I myself used to go here quite regularly but now haven't been in 2 years.
A lot of people I know who still go there say it's become a bit of a ghost town on most nights, when I walked past it on Friday night at about 11 there was no queue, while nearby Glam, Varsity and Lloyds were all manic!
Model Inn to re-open as a Brains restaurant named Greenwood and Brown (after the wine merchants from whom Brains purchased the pub in 1956 apparently). See link -
Good news of a sort. I would have preferred it to remain as a pub but conversion to a restaurant is better than it remaining empty I suppose. Plus it looks like it will get re-furbed.
South Wales Police have objected to a licensing application by the former Luminar boss to reopen the Liquid-Life site as an Alice in Wonderland-themed club and The Event. He's also looking at turning The Square into The Greene Room.
Rhymney Brewery planning to open a 'real ale bar' in Albany Road. See link -
My guess is the council wont allow it. Albany Road doesn't really have bars on it, unless you count cafe serino which is more cafe with beer really.
See thread on Saturation Zones. The police will definately object to this, even though it's a different, independent (kinda) bar.
If you support it, let the councillors know!
The Tredegar in Adamsdown is being turned into an arts centre for activities like film and language classes. Looks like it might include artists studios as well. It's being done unofficially by squatters, which the article suggests is legal in Wales until the building's owner officially objects. That said, I would imagine they would need further licenses for arts performances etc. Who knows how this will progress, if at all, but I broadly welcome it. I've come across lots of squatted arts centres in bigger cities elsewhere and they certainly offer something different to a cities cultural offering. They often include cafes and gallery opportunities for local artists. Sometimes local radio stations, which is technically easier to accomplish now with internet radio and podcasting. I'm not sure if I'd ever go there myself, but I think it would be wrong to assume it'll be a mess that causes trouble just because it is squatter run. I wish it luck! (which it will probably need...)
As a general rule I respect the laws of property and land ownership, but equally I'm fed up of land owners sitting on derelict land or empty, ugly buildings when it neglects the community it sits within.
So, fairplay to the squatters. As long as they don't cause trouble for local residents then good on em.
More good news
Kiwis is moving to what was Taurus, opening soon.
The new Kiwis opens on Thursday... Greene Room opening at The Square is still a possibility, but don't expect it to happen any time soon.
In other news, Wyndham Arcade is going to be closed in the evenings as a result of the Kiwis relocation. Means all of the city's Victorian arcades will be shut after-dark, apparently.
I also like it that, in the above article, the police suggested the venue should use and ID scanner system and the council decided the venue didn't need to if it didn't want to. Great to see a bit of sense in the city...
They still opposed numerous uses in those units in the past. They still opposed Floyds, they still want to automatically object to anything on CHurchill Way.
I think public pressure and common sense got to them on this occasion.
Heared today that liquid and life are to reopen after a major refurbishment. Also Oceana has been sold off.
Interesting to see that this (Bar/club activity in Cardiff ) is the most popular Section of the Forum according to number of posts/views. Speaks volumes!!
Yes, it speaks volumes about the rapid turnover of bars, clubs and restaurants in the city; the dearth of high quality independent offerings; and our concern about the consequences of inflexible planning policy.
Whilst I'm sure most of the posters, like myself, do enjoy a few drinks on the weekend, or a trip to the pub with colleagues every now and then.. I don't know what else it speaks volumes about.
As RC alluded to, the reason that this particular thread is so active is because it's a 'catch all' thread about hundreds of units which regularly have revamps/rebrands/openings/closures/police objections etc.... AND it is the only thread which deals with pubs.
If you added together all the threads about shops on this forum (which include annual threads on the the St Davids shopping centre plus Queens Arcade plus Capitol Arcade plus the City Centre retail thread then the combined view count would make the pubs/clubs thread pale into insignificance.
Hence I wouldn't draw the conclusion that we're all a bunch of piss artists on here.
BTW Jantra - are we still on for this Thursday?
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