Historic Laundry threatened with demolition

Protestors in front of the laundry building with a washing line of T-shirts saying Save our laundry

The old laundry building on the corner of Blenheim Road and Marlborough Road in Penylan could be knocked down to make way for a retirement home.

The laundry was built in 1898 of bricks with Bath stone and white marble embellishments for the wealthy families of Glamorgan. It is the only surviving purpose-built Victorian steam laundry in Wales and there may be just two surviving in the UK.

Plan of proposed Penylan Laundry redevelopment

Plans of the proposed Penylan steam laundry redevelopment. McCarthy & Stone

Developers McCarthy & Stone plan to build 58 sheltered housing apartments for the elderly and a restaurant on the site.

The new development would include 23 car parking spaces and 18 mobility scooter bays. A report with the plans says the development has value of £13.5m.

Drawing of red brick two and three story building with slate gable end roofs

Artist’s impression of how the new retirement apartments could look. McCarthy & Stone

The council have previously granted planning permission for 50 retirement apartments on the site, but the development firm pulled out in 2007. Cardiff council planning officer Tim Walters has said he supports the new proposal.

Local residents want to keep the building and use it for the benefit of the entire community. They hope the building could be used as a community food market and restaurant.

But Penylan councillor Bill Kelloway said a retirement home on the site was a better option than a supermarket, which had previously been proposed.

An Inspector from Cadw, the Welsh heritage organisation, will visit the site later this month to consider giving the building historic protection.

The Save the Old Steam Laundry in Roath group intended to launch a petition against the plans. They also plan to investigate claims that bats, believed to live in the laundry building, could prevent development of the site.

Cardiff Friends of the Earth support the group in their fight to save the laundry.

Find out more by visiting the Save the Old Steam Laundry in Roath campaign blog.