A Cardiff Councillor has said the approval of a reduced contribution to a planning scheme in the Bay could set a dangerous precedent.
The Council’s planning committee approved on Wednesday the application of Bayscape Ltd. to reduce its contribution towards affordable housing in Grangetown from £1.2m down to £400,000.
Adamsdown Councillor on the planning committee Manzoor Ahmed, a member of the committee, has warned that other development companies may follow suit and seek to reduce their contributions in the future. He said: “Other companies will know that if they take a hard stance the Council will give in.
“To a certain extent they [Bayscape] have taken advantage of the situation.”
The Labour Councillor explained his decision to vote for the application, saying the only way to see the project move forward was to approve the request, but said: “What the Council have agreed is below my expectations.”
Another Labour Councillor to have voted for the reduction, Ali Ahmed said: “We are not happy with it but we had no other option.
“I was disappointed. It was very important for our community and activities but in the end we had to agree with it because of the economic climate,” he said.
Adrian Robson, Councillor for Rhiwbina, who also voted in favour of the reduction said: “It was very disappointing that the new sum of Section 106 monies is now only £400,000, substantially down from the original proposal.
“However the planning system has to consider at the current economic conditions at the time and there were valuations carried out in support of the new figure.”
Councillor Chris Lomax, the only committee member to have voted against the reduction has warned that the approval could hurt the Grangetown community. He said: “It is the first time I see this kind of reduction since I joined the planning committee in 2012.”
On the vote he said: “I thought I would have more support,” he said. “Their reason was that it was better than nothing.”
The work is part of a £60m development on Watkiss Way, which will see 125 flats and a 30 story hotel built as part of Cardiff International Sports Village.