Rompney Castle demolition halted as Cardiff Council steps in

A much-loved former Cardiff pub – the Rompney Castle – could now be saved from the threat of demolition after Cardiff Council stepped in to prevent it being knocked down.

The Rompney has been a landmark in the Rumney area of the city since the 1870s and last year a developer’s plan to demolish the building and redevelop the site was rejected by Cardiff Council’s planning department on grounds that the development would result in the loss of an historic building that is of considerable significance to the local community.

However, the developer returned in July this year with a separate application notifying of their intention to demolish the building.  Under current planning rules a property owner does not require permission to demolish a property they own, just permission from the council on an agreed method of demolition.

Now, Cardiff Council has served an Article 4 Direction on the owner of the Rompney, removing these permitted development rights – in this case preventing demolition of the pub unless full planning permission is first granted.

Cllr Dan De’Ath, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, said: “The Rompney is a building of real historic significance in the local area. It has stood on Wentloog Rd since the 1870s and is much-loved by residents, demonstrated by the depth of feeling expressed in the area when the first plans were submitted to redevelop the site.

“The Rompney Castle is a building, which although not listed by Cadw, absolutely deserves a measure of protection, which is what we are trying to achieve by this action. We will now engage with the owner/developer to try to find a sustainable future for this local treasure.

“This month we will also bring a report to Cabinet which will see us revisit our local list of buildings of historic interest across the city. This local list doesn’t have anything like the same powers as buildings which are listed by Cadw, but it will help us work with developers to try to protect and celebrate local buildings such as pubs, community spaces and music venues – particularly those rich in the city’s working-class history.

“By strengthening our planning regulations and continuing to lobby the Welsh Government for stronger powers a new and revised Local List will play a key part in the recognition and protection of these assets.”

Note to Editors

Welsh Government sets out that planning authorities may develop lists of historic assets of special local interest, that do not have statutory protection, but that make an important contribution to local distinctiveness and have the potential to contribute to public knowledge.

The existing Local List of Buildings of Merit contains 202 entries, some of which cover several grouped buildings. The list was approved by Planning Committee in November 1997, with 323 buildings identified at that time. The list has not been maintained or comprehensively reviewed over the last 26 years, although around one third of those buildings have since been listed by Cadw, giving them statutory protection.

Due to the relative lack of national planning controls afforded to local listing, some buildings have been significantly altered, or in extreme cases demolished. The list therefore requires revision to accommodate these changes, include new additions and to bring in new controls over demolition and alteration where applicable.

Unlike Listed Buildings, buildings on the local list are not subject to any additional planning controls over alteration or demolition. The status simply means that when planning applications are assessed, the building’s special local architectural or historical interest can be taken into consideration before making a decision.