Monday, 8 December 2008

CADW on Vulcan and Bute Park

Thank you for your e-mail of 12th November to the Assembly Minister for Heritage about listing the Vulcan Hotel public house on Adam Street as a building of special architectural or historic interest. I have been asked to reply.

There is a statutory duty to list buildings which meet published listing criteria but this cannot be where they are not met. These criteria state that, because of the greater number of buildings built after about 1840 which survive, selection is needed to identify the best examples of particular types. Only buildings of definite quality and character are listed. Buildings that illustrate important aspects of Wales’ social, economic, cultural or military history may also be considered for listing on grounds of historic interest and also where there is a close historical association between a building and people or events of importance to Wales.

Cadw have considered the Vulcan for listing on a number of occasions - in 1996-97, when the area was surveyed for historic buildings and several times since 2003. Cadw’s Inspectors have visited more than once and carried out internal and external inspections. Although the pub has reputedly been in continuous use since 1853, it has the appearance of an early twentieth century building, seemingly remodelled around 1900. More recent internal alterations have further affected its original character. In this respect the Vulcan does not compare favourably to other historic pubs in Cardiff which have been listed such as the nearby Golden Cross. Cadw has also considered the case for listing of the Vulcan based on its historical interest or association but these seem not to be significant outside the immediate area. On present evidence therefore, Cadw’s assessment is that the listing criteria are not met in the case of the Vulcan but officials would be happy review the matter in the light of any new information.

Historic buildings, listed or not, are an important part of our cultural heritage and can make a significant contribution to local regeneration. Where development affecting historic assets is proposed, developers and the local planning authority should consider retaining and incorporating these into their plans so that an area continues to reflect an element of local distinctiveness and character. We understand that work on the redevelopment of Adam Street, including the site presently occupied by the Vulcan, primarily for residential apartments, is due to start late next year or early 2010. We hope that in the time that remains every opportunity is taken to consider the scope for retaining the pub as part of these development plans so that the Vulcan’s long period of association with the area can continue.

With regard to the proposals for a new bridge and access road from North Road into Bute Park, Cardiff City Council put this forward in order, primarily, to improve goods vehicle access necessary for setting up public events held in the park grounds. Cadw was consulted on the planning application for these proposals as Bute Park is included, at Grade I, on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales and had serious concerns about the original proposals presented to us in 2007 which we expressed to the council. In the light of these concerns the council made significant changes to the design of the access bridge to reduce its visual impact while still providing improved access.

Philip Hobson Designations Section/Y Gangen Ddynodiadau
Welsh Assembly Government / Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru.
Cadw,Plas Carew 5/7 Cefn Coed, Parc Nantgarw Cardiff CF15 7QQ
Direct Line/ Llinell Uniongyrchol 01443 336017
E-mail/E-bost hobsonp@wales.gsi.gov.uk

1 comment:

Hugh said...

Re: reply from minister for heritage

"What an incredibly irritating reply. Cardiff is an absolute mess,
architecturally speaking, because of idiots like this. The Vulcan is a fab pub,
trouble is, it's in the way isn't it - prime land for redevelopment. You can't
make a place feel that good - an atmosphere that comes from many years of people
having a good time there. They don't care about things like that though."