All this is said by someone who has never lived in one of these apartments, never met or spoken to the residents, leads a lifestyle completely different from those who live in the apartments and doesn't take into account of how difficult it is to actually purchase your own property. His ideal of a terraced house in the valleys as an alternative to renting an apartment in the bay sounds dreadful to most without families.
That is atrocious and any good points he makes therein are lost amidst his incessant bollocks.
I would find it more dignified and creditable if he could provide references to the facts and stats that he provides.
As a resident of an owner occupier of a 'luxury apartment block' i would assume my opinion is more informed than his! Why should his be more considered than mine, or yours or anyone elses? What points does he raise that are worth discussing other than he dislikes modern apartment developments build in Cardiff?
He points out:
that many have been bought by absentee landlords who don't care about the tenants, don't care about the community and don't care about the fabric of the building
that no schools or health centres have been built for the tenants.
that the fact that many flats are used as pied-a-terres or serviced apartments mean that they are under-utilised.
that many were badly designed and/or badly built.
that the flats at the ISV have been plonked into an appallingly though-out road system with very little public transport despite rail lines and rivers running past.
I an an owner occupier of a flat elsewhere in the city and suffer some of the problems listed by Dic. However I live in an established community with good transport links and facilities. I feel sorry for people who are owner-occupiers of flats in the Bay.
I have none of the above bad points, there are no serviced apartments allowed, there is an established tenants association, public transport is excellent with rail, bus and boat transport available to the city center and other parts of the city. There are local facilities such as dentists, chemists, doctors surgeries. As for the sports village its a long way from being complete, how many of these facilities are built in modern housing developments? I would say i didnt chose to buy in the sports village more because it wasnt close to bars and restaurants rather than because it lacked a dentist on my doorstep. Most apartment buyers and livers are younger as it suits their lifestyle and is much better than a flat in a converted house or an entire house to heat and light. Each development in the bay has its advantages and disadvantages, as would any neighborhood, The sports village offers excellent links to the M4 whilst still having beautiful water views, access to the bay facilities and only minutes away from the city center, of course it has disadvantages as well.
This Dic person is a complete idiot: I have moved to Cardiff Bay from a north Cardiff suburb and I can say quite categorically I am far better off now than in a really boring net curtain twitching horror.
Just think of the advantages: two bus routes that pass the door at frequent intervals, a short walk to a train station, a very short walk to several supermarkets, a pharmacy, a vet, restaurants, IKEA!, a swimming pool and gym, an ice rink, white water rafting and surfing, and fine walks around the coast. I guess if I was really keen I could own a boat and keep it on a marina - all within walking distance.
Then it's a little bit of a longer walk but I can go to one of the finest theatres in the world in the WMC and choose one of many restaurants and bars.
There are so much advantages in Cardiff Bay - I only wish I were younger to enjoy it even more.
If Dic Mortimer thinks that living in the valleys is preferable to living in Cardiff he must must be incredibly small minded.
He seems to copy the style of Gwyn Thomas without his intelligence or wit.
I can't understand how anybody can assume that everybody else wants to live the same way as them? Aren't we all unique? What may seem like a nightmare to some is paradise to the other and visca versa - there is no right or wrong. Although in MY opinion the wrong here is the assumption that people living in the many appartments 'down the bay' aren't very happy with their lot, thank you very much. Personally I lived for 7 years on the ninth floor in a flat (well that's what they used to be called!) and absolutely loved it, I now live in a terraced house close to the city centre... and absolutely love it! maybe I'm just easily pleased? but in reality there are pros and cons to both. I can certainly understand how being told that they are living some kind of a lesser life by someone who 'just doesn't get it' would be annoying.
It would be interesting to hear what residents of these new developments think. There is an impression (perhaps an unfair one) that most of the residents are tenants rather than owner occupiers and the population is slightly transient. Maybe that was the case but people are beginning to settle down now? Any views would be interesting. I don't think I would want to live there as I have a family and none of these blocks seem to have any units designed for families. Maybe this is a failing but its long been assumed that British families view apartment living as less desirable than a traditional semi.
I don't think there is anything intrinsically wrong with high rise living. I lived in an ex local authority tower block for a number of years and the accommodation was many times more spacious and desirable than the succession of rooms in shared houses that I lived in as a student and when I was living in London. All of them were uniformly horrendous.
There also seems to be an assumption on the part of Dic that all of these developments are shoddily built and/or too small. Is this really true? Some are not very inspiring to look at but neither are rows of pebble dashed terraces either or indeed the Wimpy/Redrow estates that proliferate.
I think everyone is entitled to their own opinions but this article is rather presumptuous. I've spent 18 of my 25 years living in the Rhondda and nothing would get me back there. But then again, according to Dic I'm a callow girl who has watched too many episodes of Sex And the City. Obviously I can't tell the difference between Cardiff and New York!
I think the main issue I have is the presumption of a lack of community. It doesn't matter where you live, if people want to keep themselves to themselves, they will. I know every single neighbour in my specific block at Prospect Place and a number of others across the site. The Residents' Association is extremely active, meeting monthly where all residents, whether leaseholder or renter, are able to attend. All members are provided with regular email communications and they also do a newsletter placed in the noticeboards throughout the site to inform all of the Committee's work. They also hold an annual Christmas Party and have had coffee mornings and other events in the past. At the end of the day, it is a completely new area and communities do take time to form, but there are people there trying to make the area more inclusive and to create that community.
Also I have no idea where the idea of the 19-30 year old trainee / shop assistant reference has come from. Most of my friends that rent in the Bay are paying over £900 month in rent, so I do hope Dic will show me the shop I need to work in to afford that and I'm there! My neighbours are extremely diverse, with quite a number having young children and there are quite a few retirees who live here on a permanent basis.
Noting that these apartments are supposedly teeny I don't quite understand how people have the space to run brothels or cannabis factories and really hope that if Dic observed hives of illegal immigrants he has at least done the decent thing and contacted the relevant authorities. Although how he has picked all this up through his observation is beyond me, I haven't seen any of this in my four years of living in the Bay.
I also have no idea where his figures comes from, yes some were bought by oversees investors and yes quite a large proportion are rented out, but 50% being bought by those oversees? Really?! And I don't really think investors and 120% mortgages are exactly confined to the Bay. I doubt if you pop across to Bristol and the new waterside developments there anything is exactly any different. And I also doubt the problem of negative equity for owner occupiers is only confined to the Bay. Compared to many parts of Cardiff the Bay was and still is an attractive prospect to first time buyers like myself. It is cheaper than quite a few of the 'nicer' areas; relatively new and without a garden so the homes are low maintenance and quite safe so that you can lock up and go.
I've met more Welsh speakers in the Bay than in the Rhondda, where the only Welsh School was miles away and Grangetown has a large proportion of Welsh speakers, just look at all the support around a Welsh Medium school in Grangetown. I'm grateful the names have a "no-Welsh-spoken-here malevolence" as at least we can all pronounce them!
I could go on, but there is no point. That's his opinion and that may be the opinion and experience of some of the people that live here, but personally, that hasn't been my experience and I couldn't disagree more.
Well said Gail, Baywatcher and Cardiff.
I've rented a house in one of the developments that Dic mentions and now own a flat in one of the others. There are flaws - I'd like my flat to be have more storage space, a cycle store and I'd love to have a proper balcony. But it is rear to find your perfect home - especially as a first-time buyer. I think the price was reasonable and judging from the other properties within the development, they are mostly occupied by a mix of tenants and owners (and indeed housing association tenants). There doesn't seem to be particularly high or quick turnover. Of my immediate neighbours, one has been there since before me (2008) and the other has had three tenants in that time (the latest having moved in within the last three months). Of those I know, one works for Welsh Water, one for the Environment Agency (as was), an ex-neighbour worked in the Temple of Peace building and without revealing exactly what I do I'm 'professional'. My new neighbour is a chef.
There are opportunities to get involved with the 'community' - I tend not to because I'm that way inclined.
Ideally there'd be a few more local facilities e.g. cafe, newsagent, pub etc, but I knew damn well they weren't there when I moved in and chose the good access and connectivity, the water view and quality of the building/environment over living in a more traditional urban area that would have those facilities but for the price I pay I'd have been in a converted flat of dubious quality, probably without a parking space and certainly without the water view. That's the choice I've made and the choice many made.
It seems to suit many many people. Anyone know where Mr Mortimer lives?
A slightly less arguementative piece from Dic this time.
It's a look at the various crossings of the South Wales main line. As usual it's part interesting history, part polemic. He makes some good points, I think and one or two that are slightly Dic-ish!
As another person who lives in one of these dreadful blocks (one with a school at the end of the street which Dic has clearly missed with his blinkers on) - again, we have no short lets, I know several owner occupiers, I can't smell food from other flats and the tenants are lovely, some from the BBC yes and some from business. I have a brilliant view across the water, the only brothel I know is up in Butetown (and in a terrace) and there's now a reasonable choice of shops and great walks round the Inner Bay. Dic is entitled to his opinion, and I'm entitled to think he's talking out of a different part of his anatomy to me.
The trend here appears to be that those living in the bay think dic Mortimer is talking from his arse. Obviously all are wrong and dic and his sycophants are right
At least my observations are based on five years experience of living here and not a quick fly past in order to sneer. But then, everyone in the world is deluded apart from Dic and his Diclets.
Sorry, Jantra, I knew you were agreeing and thought what you said was very apposite. My comment was aimed at the other gentleman.
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