Deal unlocks heart of Cardiff’s £2 billion garden city

2 February 2021
  • Plasdwr Cardiff Cooke & Arkwright
  • Plasdwr Cardiff Cooke & Arkwright

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Redrow, the leading UK housebuilder headquartered in north Wales, has extended its original agreement with the Plymouth Estate at Plasdŵr, unlocking the development of homes, schools and the town centre and securing thousands of further jobs over the next 20 years.

This latest deal relates to by far the largest component part (426 gross acres) of the capital’s flagship new community, with a third, smaller section to follow. It confirms Redrow will create up to half of all homes in Plasdŵr’s residential areas (up to 2,600) and retains its responsibility for leading the masterplanning of the entire garden city. Cooke & Arkwright acted for the landowner in the deal.

Described as Cardiff’s £2 billion “garden city for the 21st Century”, Plasdŵr is taking shape across 900 acres of countryside in the north west of the capital. It will comprise up to 7000 homes – up to 30% of which will be affordable - four primary schools, a secondary school, retail, health, leisure and community facilities set across five distinct neighbourhoods.

Its development will create over 5000 direct and indirect jobs.

Mike Lawley, Chairman of Cooke & Arkwright, the landowner’s representative, said:

“The Plymouth Estate has been focused on delivering an exemplar scheme at Plasdŵr and leaving a legacy it can be proud of.

“It is incredibly important to the Plymouth Estate to have a reliable and committed lead developer to assist in bringing this complex scheme forward, and Redrow has proved to be first rate at working collaboratively with the landowners and Cardiff County Council.

“The landowners fully support the strategic approach being taken to the delivery of Plasdŵr, and the considered masterplanning and placemaking approach of the entire expert team of professionals, led by Redrow.”

Redrow is already lead developer on the first parts of Plasdŵr, bordering the existing neighbouring communities of Radyr, Danescourt, Fairwater, Pentrebane and St Fagans. Since 2017, it has delivered the strategic infrastructure here and reports “huge demand” for homes at the prime locations of its three current sites where over 250 of Plasdŵr’s first residents are already living. The first primary school is expected to open in 2023, and two other housebuilders have also begun developing sites.

“Redrow’s purpose is all about creating a better way for people to live, and Plasdŵr embodies that, from the high quality homes we’re well known for, to its outstanding setting where we can combine the best of town and country living on residents’ doorstep,” said Project Director, Wayne Rees.

“Being proudly headquartered in Wales, we feel particularly privileged to be selected to remain at the forefront of Plasdŵr, using our placemaking approach to lead the masterplanning team as well as creating around half the homes in such a significant new place for our capital and its future.

“For the same reason, we’re especially delighted to be part of creating thousands of Welsh jobs over a sustained period, both directly and via our supply chain.”

Plasdŵr lies on a strategic, greenfield site, allocated under the city’s Local Development Plan to support Cardiff’s economic growth and help meet existing and future housing requirements.

This new section will therefore see £87million of additional investment in new infrastructure, including roads, utilities and services, drainage and landscaping. Redrow expects to deliver the first homes under this new arrangement in 2023.

As well as homes, this major section comprises the Canol Plasdŵr Centre (the district centre), plus two primary schools and neighbourhood centres. It spans four of the five Plasdŵr neighbourhoods, which have been masterplanned to create a variety of community settings:

  • Groeswen, the contemporary, vibrant, heart of Plasdŵr, currently the most developed and home to the first of five primary schools, due on site later this year;
  • Maesllech, with its park, woodland and suburban housing
  • Pendown, with its simple building designs giving the spotlight to its countryside setting and views
  • Cefntrebane, with its village feel, set within heritage farmland and characterised by organic design

Further homes will subsequently be delivered in the remaining neighbourhood of Hafod, characterised by the western side’s woodland landscape.

Plasdŵr will comprise up to 40% green space and so this deal will also see the creation of significant public green space areas, including heritage woodland, recreational parks, a nature park, a dedicated wildlife greenway, and playing fields.

The disposal of 120,000 square feet on the Heads of the Valleys Industrial Estate was a particularly satisfying task. The building had been rebuilt following fire damage, and Jeremy Symons and his team were successful in identifying a nearby purchaser looking to expand. The sale price, at £4,000,000, represented a record sale price for a property of this nature in the area, and with great tenacity and endeavour was completed in a timely fashion. An excellent result.

Richard Hayward, Richard Hayward Properties