In case ya hadn’t heard, here’s the deal. The Gatekeeper has put in an application to convert some of the building to be Cardiff’s first Wetherspoons hotel. Unfortunately, it happens to be located right in the heart of the alternative musical heart of the city: Womanby Street, a place we’ve spent many hours stumbling around, weaving from venue to venue, smoking, eating burgers, drinking pints, putting the world to rights. Whether you’re a boozehound or not, late alcohol licensing is totally vital to this epicentre of alternative music, and venues are worried about the implications of having the hotel there.
To try and safeguard the venues on this street, there’s a “Save Womanby Street Campaign”. Do your thing, join up, get educated, lobby those that represent you.*
Here’s the vibes:
Save Womanby Street
Backed by Cardiff’s grassroots music venues, the Save Womanby Street campaign is lobbying the council to recognise the street as an area of cultural significance for music and performance arts.
Home to live music venues Clwb Ifor Bach, The Full Moon, Fuel Rock Club and Bootlegger, Womanby Street has been described as “the epicentre of Cardiff for grassroots music” and “the heartbeat of live music”
According to campaign organisers, late alcohol licensing and live music is vital to the venues’ survival.
The addition of a hotel will benefit the area but current systems of law could threaten the unique nature of the street.
As a result the group are calling on Cardiff Council to designate Womanby Street a cultural night time economy. This will protect the street and allow businesses to continue to flourish.
The decision under the current systems of law has been met with widespread objection, with folk singer Frank Turner joining nearly 7,000 others to petition against the move.
However, Save Womanby Street organisers have stressed that the wider issue lies with planning permission policy and not the pub in question.
Under current regulations any complaints regarding noise pollution would threaten the livelihood of the street’s venues.
In addition to the local planning changes, the campaign will lobby the Welsh Assembly to adopt the agent of change principle in relation to planning permission, making it the responsibility of the developers of any new premises, commercial or residential, to find solutions to noise from nearby pre-existing business.
What can you do?
Lobby your councillors (see above)
Join the Save Womanby Street Facebook
* (if any of you live in Butetown, like I do, good luck trying to lobby our councillor Ali Ahmed for anything, all he ever does is reply saying what’s happening and that there’s no way of changing anything, not once have I ever experienced him actually representing the views of local people – especially on the crazy bonanza of flat building that’s going on around Hamadryad Park. Although I just read he hasn’t been reselected to stand in May, and to be honest, good riddance. How can you live in Penylan and represent Butetown?)