University Expansion Plans affecting Cathays in the late 1960s and 70s

Paul Byers made this Freedom of Information request to Cardiff University

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Dear Cardiff University,

I am currently looking into the history of Cathays and have come across a reference to the university's expansion plans and their effect on Cathays in the late 1960s.

In a Hansard record for 13th November 1968, there is a report of a question asked by Ted Rowlands.

There is an online link at
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?i...

In his second paragraph, he refers to ‘ ... in Cathays where the university expansion plan is expected to destroy more housing.’

Are you able to offer any further explanation of this comment and how may I gain access to any material that could help me?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Byers

InfoRequest, Cardiff University

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Byers,

Thank you for your email enquiry which we received 13th September 2012 and
your Freedom of Information enquiry which we received 26th September 2012
concerning Ted Rowlands comments in the House of Commons.

We searched the catalogue of records held in the Institutional Archive
from the University College Cardiff but were unable to find any reference
relating to Hook Road or the demolition of housing.

We checked Cardiff University A Celebration by Vanessa Cunningham and John
Goodwin (2001) for any reference to the demolition of housing.  We found
the following reference:

p142 "The second area of former railway land lies north east of Cathays
Park.  This was acquired in the 1970s, initially to provide a site for a
new Arts and Social Studies Library and the Humanities Building.  This was
at the time when wholesale demolition of residential communities was still
in vogue and, had the planners' dreams been realised, many of the domestic
properties lining Colum Road would have disappeared.  Thus, the main
entrance to the Library looks curiously askew, not as the result of an
architect's whim, but because the building as it now stands was to have
been merely Phase 1 of Stage 1."  

We checked University College Cardiff A Centenary History 1883-1983 
edited by S. B. Chrimes (1983) for any reference to the demolition of
housing.  We found reference to the College's involvement in joint plans
with the Welsh National School of Medicine, the Welsh Collage of Advanced
Technology and the City Council concerning the future development of
higher education in the city and a report produced by the City Council
called the Buchanan Report which identified an area of 98 acres in Cathays
Park and the areas immediately west and north for future development for
these purposes.  A company was commissioned in 1968 to produce an
interim/feasibility report which the College followed up with a
development plan.  It is unclear from Chrimes whether these plans included
proposed housing demolition.  Chrimes goes on to talk about the College's
new Joint Students' Union building on Senghennydd Road and also mentions
the College's plans to develop a student village near the Senghennydd Road
development:

p147 "Agreement was reached with the future UWIST and further
consultations took place with the Building Design Partnership and the City
of Cardiff.  Associated with this large project was a scheme for the
creation of a 'student village' by the future acquisition of some 200
houses in the area adjoining Senghennydd Road and their conversion into a
largely self-financing enterprise".

We checked the catalogues of the Institutional Archive collections but
were unable to find any reference to the Buchanan Report.  We did find
reference to a copy of the Cardiff Higher Education Precinct Interim
Report/Feasibility produced by Building Design Partnership, September 1968
and the survey appraisal and brief for the Cardiff Educational Precinct
produced by Building Design Partnership, 1968 in a box folder of records
relating to the University of Wales Institute of Science & Technology's
development plans including drawings and proposals, c. 1968-1971.  We
checked the interim report and survey appraisal and found that the survey
appraisal did mention that, of the 98 acres identified by the Council for
higher education purposes, 26.5 acres were "at present in residential use
including Nazareth House Orphanage and Home for Old People".  The Interim
Report also highlights on maps the area identified in the Buchanan Report
for higher education purposes.  You would be very welcome to come in and
view these records in the Special Collections & Archives Seminar Room.  We
would require at least a week's notice before your visit to enable us to
book the seminar room and transfer the records in advance.

We checked a series of annual reports of the University College Cardiff's
Council to the Court of Governors from 1967/8-1971/2 (document ref.
UCC/CL/Rpt/39-43).  These contain a section on the University's building
programme (please find attached copies of relevant parts of this section).
 The reports refer to the acquisition of houses on the open market in the
Senghennydd Road area for conversion to student accommodation in the
'University Village'.  These include properties in Ruthin Gardens, Cogan
Terrace, Llandough Street, Llanbleddian Gardens, Senghennydd Road and
Miskin Street.  

The reports also refer to a public inquiry into the proposed compulsory
acquisition of houses in Colum Road held in 1971.  The 1971/2 report
states that:

 "In the early part of the year the College and UWIST were informed of the
Secretary of State's decision to refuse the City Council's application for
planning permission to develop land at Corbett Road, Colum Road, Colum
Place, Colum Terrace and railway land at the rear of Colum Road for higher
education purposes; and not to confirm the Council's application for a
Compulsory Purchase Order.
The College's interest in the planning application and the C.P.O. was
relatively small, being confined to about five acres immediately north of
Corbett Road,most of which is redundant railway land behind Column
Road....
...The first stage of each of the buildings was to be located in such a
way as not to interfere with the residential occupation of houses in Colum
Road and they would be sited entirely on redundant railway land at present
occupied by derelict railway sheds.
The Secretary of State's decision recognised that 'the development of
railway land for University purposes would be permissable subject to the
provision of a satisfactory access'.  Since the decision relating to
UWIST's development in the City Centre did not affect this part of the
College's development strategy, the college proceeded to submit a planning
application to develop the railway land via an access from Colum Road and
outline permission for development has been granted by the City Council".
 
We checked a volume of minutes of the University College Cardiff's Council
and its Committee's (UCC/CL+cm/M/18) and found minutes of the Special
Meeting of the Joint Development Committee of the Council and Senate and
the Sites and Buildings Committee to receive information on the "Buchanan
Probe Study Report" from Mr. Ewart Parkinson (City Planning Officer) held
on 28 April 1966 and which was reported to the Sites & Buildings Committee
3 May 1966.  We would be happy to send photocopies of these minutes to
you, if you could let us know your postal address.

We checked the catalogue of University College Cardiff records held in the
Institutional Archive for any records relating to the University College
Cardiff's development plans during this period and found reference to a
number of files originating from Principal Steel's Office, namely:

UCC/P/PS/4 - building planning, Jan. 1961-Jan. 1966
UCC/P/PS/6 - City Joint Development Committee, Apr.-July 1966
UCC/P/PS/13 - future development of College, Jan. 1961-July 1966
UCC/P/PS/19 - Ministry of Housing and Local Development, Mar. 1961-Mar.
1964

We checked these folders for any reference to the demolition of housing
but were unable to find any references.  We did find reference to the
proposal to purchase property in Colum Road in a draft report of an
informal meeting between Mr I. Dale Owen (from Sir Percy Thomas & Sons)
and Mr R. G. Milton, Deputy Buildings Officer at the College (in
UCC/P/PS/13).  We would be happy to send photocopies of this report to you
if you could let us know your postal address.

We checked the catalogue of the University College Cardiff records for any
records relating to the University Village and found reference to the
following file from the Registrar's Office:

UCC/R/F/105 - Correspondence relating to setting up student accommodation
in the University Village, 1967-1969

We searched UCC/R/F/105 and found correspondence between the College
Secretary, Mr Hilton with Ted Rowlands MP, although this correspondence
does not appear to be about the demolition of housing.  The folder also
contains records relating to the conversion of housing properties in the
Senghennydd Road area into student accommodation and a document entitled
'Policy for the Development of Student Housing' which does mention
possible plans to demolish housing once purchased to build new student
accommodation (please see scanned copies attached).

I hope this information will be of some help to you.  We consider this
archive search to have discharged our duties under the Freedom of
Information Act. The University has a Freedom of Information Complaints
Procedure should you feel dissatisfied with this response or the way in
which your request was handled. Complaints must be made in writing within
two months and must set out why you believe the University has not met its
obligations under the Freedom of Information Act.  You may email your
complaint to [1][email address].uk where it will be forwarded to
the Director of Registry, Governance and Students Directorate who will be
responsible for overseeing the review.

If you are not happy with the outcome of such an internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.  The Information Commissioner can be contacted at the following
address: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in
Cardiff University. If you require further assistance please feel free to
contact me.

Best wishes,

Sarah Phillips
University Records Manager

Information Governance Team
Governance and Compliance Division
Cardiff University
McKenzie House
30-36 Newport Road
Cardiff
CF24 0DE

Fax 029 20874478
Tel 029 20879351

Freedom of Information request - University Expansion Plans affecting
Cathays in the late 1960s and 70s

Paul Byers   to: FOI requests at Cardiff University 26/09/2012 16:31

     Dear Cardiff University,
   
    I am currently looking into the history of Cathays and have come
    across a reference to the university's expansion plans and their
    effect on Cathays in the late 1960s.
   
    In a Hansard record for 13th November 1968, there is a report of a
    question asked by Ted Rowlands.
   
    There is an online link at
    [2]http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?i...
   
    In his second paragraph, he refers to ‘ ... in Cathays where the
    university expansion plan is expected to destroy more housing.’
   
    Are you able to offer any further explanation of this comment and
    how may I gain access to any material that could help me?
   
    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
   
    Yours faithfully,
   
    Paul Byers
   
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
   
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Dear InfoRequest,

Thank you very much for the comprehensive response to my request. I recognise and appreciate the work you must have put into this.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Byers