Update on major plans for former Howells department store in Cardiff

A computer generated image showing what the restored Bethany English Baptist Chapel could look like
-Credit: (Image: Cardiff Council)


Plans for the next phase of the redevelopment of Cardiff's historic Howells building have been approved. The future of the department store have been revealed piece-by-piece after House of Fraser left the building on an emotional day in March 2023.

Phase one, comprising the redevelopment of the Percy Thomas building on the corner of Wharton Street and St Mary Street, already has planning permission. Work is underway to construct a rooftop bar and the rest of the building could be put to one of a number of uses.

Phases two and three of the scheme will see the Bethany English Baptist Chapel (originally built in 1807 and later engulfed by the department store) restored - with computer-generated images showing the potential to use the chapel and its surrounding buildings as a food hall, restaurant or leisure venue. These phases will also include redevelopment of the Wharton Street building including bars and restaurants, 61 studio apartments and a four-storey roof extension. For more Cardiff news, sign up to our newsletter here.

READ MORE: Images of the plans for the chapel in Cardiff's Howells building

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The plans for phases two and three of the scheme were first submitted on September 29, 2023 and were discussed at planning committee in December 2023. It was recommended that they should be approved and this was granted on Thursday, May 30, 2024 meaning the plans can go ahead.

A Section 106 agreement was originally attached to the planning application which would have bound developers to pay a maximum of £1,097,520 towards affordable housing, £64,224 towards off-site public open space, £73,381 towards public realm improvements, £43,951 towards local community facilities and £5,000 towards traffic regulation orders. However during the planning process a viability appraisal concluded the development would be unviable if these conditions were applied and there is now no S106 agreement. The developer has agreed to contribute the £5,000 for traffic regulation.

Phases four and five will involve the redevelopment of the St Mary Street frontage, the south-east corner building fronting onto The Hayes and the Trinity Street buildings.