The Atlantic Wharf Butetown, Cardiff masterplan: an overview

Planning consent for the Atlantic Wharf masterplan was granted in February 2023 and it is anticipated the whole masterplan will be delivered in phases which will take approximately ten years to complete. Consent was granted for:

  • An arena with a capacity up 17,000.
  • 182 bed hotel (Use Class C1).
  • Up to 890no. residential dwellings (Use Class C3).
  • Up to 1,090no. hotel rooms (Use Class C1).
  • Up to 19,500sqm of employment floorspace (Use Class B1).
  • Up to 14,000sqm of non-residential institution floorspace (Use Class D1).
  • Up to 13,500sqm of leisure floorspace (Use Class D2).
  • Up to 2,750sqm of retail floorspace (Use Class A1).
  • Up to 9,560sqm of food and drink floorspace (Use Class A3).
  • Up to 40,000sqm of car parking spaces including within a Multi-Storey Car Park (MSCP).
  • An event square.
  • Public realm and open space.
  • Pedestrian, cycle and vehicular accesses.
  • Landscaping including biodiversity and landscape mitigation and enhancement.
  • Drainage.
  • Associated infrastructure.

The consented arena

Design visualization of Cardiff Arena 2024
Design visualization of Cardiff Arena night 2024

A new visitor destination for Cardiff Bay: bringing the plan to life

The Atlantic Wharf masterplan includes four phases of development and will take approximately seven years to complete.

Phase 1: Construction starts on the arena and hotel in 2023, with completion in time for doors opening in 2026. This phase also includes building a multi-storey car park to replace the lost surface parking.

Phase 2: Businesses in the Red Dragon Centre will be relocated so works can start on a purpose-built facility to accommodate leisure, food and drink amenities. Plans include a new cultural centre incorporating the Wales Millennium Centre production space, potentially a National Art Gallery, and a ‘This is Wales’ fly-through visitor attraction.

Phase 3: A new 150,000 m2 office space delivered along with a 150-bed, four-star hotel.

Phase 4: A new neighbourhood delivering new homes and potential for retail and office space – this phase is dependent on relocation of the County Hall to a new, purpose-built building.

The planning process

Key dates for planning are:

Spring/summer 2021: Public consultations begin, including online webinars during Covid-19 restrictions

Summer 2021: Pre-application consultation

Autumn 2021: Planning application submission

March 2022 : Planning Committee considered application and were Minded to Grant

July 2022:  Welsh Government confirmed the application would not be called in

February 2023: Planning Decision Notice issued.

February 2024: A S73 Planning Decision Notice Issued.

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