Thai House staff ‘devastated’ received dismissal letters ahead of demolition of Guildford Crescent


Devastated staff at a Guildford Crescent business in Cardiff receive sacking letters ahead of plans to demolish one of the city’s last remaining terraces.

The Thai House restaurant said the owner of the Reports “single-handedly destroyed three family businesses” as part of their plans to bring down Guildford Crescent.

He also says the wait for Cardiff Council to decide on plans for a conservation area for Guildford Crescent – which would give the city’s planning department greater demolition powers – is a ‘death knell’ for the Thai House, Madeira and the Gwdihw Music Hall.

Currently, council must rule on Rapport’s request to demolish the block by February 4.

This has led to some calls for Cardiff Council to call an emergency cabinet meeting to vote on the conservation area.

But the council has yet to say when the conservation area will be considered. No emergency cabinet meeting has so far been scheduled to consider the matter.

The next cabinet meeting is scheduled for January 24 – and the agenda for that meeting has yet to be announced.

Cardiff adviser Neil McEvoy accused the Labor ruling group on the council of procrastinating.

Madeira and Thai House restaurants on Guildford Crescent

Arlene Thomas-Ramasut, co-owner of Thai House, which employs 20 people, said: “Unfortunately, although we have received overwhelming support from so many and the four Cardiff MPs as well as MAs, and some advisers have expressed their support for the conservation area, the fact that council does not vote on the Guildford Crescent conservation project until January 24 is the death knell for the three Crescent companies.

“We are all planning our outings.

“At The Thai House we follow due process and have already issued letters of potential termination and have had one-on-one meetings with our staff. They are clearly devastated. Many of our staff have been with us for years. . “

The three businesses, which employ 70 people in total, were told in December that their leases would end on January 31 and that they would have to vacate the premises.

Gwdihw is now looking for a new space in the city and is working with Wales Co-operative Center to make it a community business.

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Some 20,000 people have signed a petition to save Gwdihw and the other businesses in Guildford Crescent.

The campaign is running a march on Saturday January 19, starting at Womanby Street at 2 p.m. and ending at Guildford Crescent, with a concert led by Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys.

Ms Thomas-Ramasut said: “The three companies at Guildford Crescent have tried to contact Matthew Rapport since mid-December in hopes of extending our leases, but he has not responded to any of our requests. the large restaurant, offices and storage cannot be done overnight – and would be nearly impossible to reverse once set in motion.

“We support the Save Guildford Crescent campaign in every way we can, but in our hearts we know that Matthew Rapport single-handedly destroyed three family businesses – Wales’ oldest Thai restaurant and the only Thai restaurant in the center – Cardiff City, the thriving Madeira Portuguese restaurant and incredibly popular Gwdihw music venue.

“Well done Matthew Rapport, we hope you and your family are proud of you.”

Currently, as the buildings are not yet part of a conservation area, the council can only assess the method of demolition and the proposed restoration of the site, not whether the buildings should be demolished or not.

A consultation on whether Guildford Crescent should become a conservation area ended on November 28.

If Guildford Crescent becomes a conservation area, it means that any proposal will have to demonstrate how it would preserve or improve the character or appearance of the site. But that would not mean that development cannot take place.

The giant banner erected above the Madeira restaurant on Guildford Crescent

The council says it “has currently not been decided” when the cabinet will discuss the conservation area.

A council statement said: “Information will be provided on the topics for discussion at the next cabinet, five working days before the cabinet meeting and the reports are posted on the council’s website.

“An assessment of the conservation area has taken place and a public consultation has taken place.

“The decision will take into account an in-depth analysis of the purposes of protecting the particular character or appearance of the area as well as taking into account the responses to the consultation.

“This process is not yet complete and a report will be considered at a future cabinet meeting.”

The request to demolish Guildford Crescent, leaving only the Grade II listed Masonic Hall, was officially received on December 10.

Most town planning requests are decided within eight weeks to avoid the risk of a town planning appeal.

This can be extended to 16 weeks if a local authority decides that an environmental impact assessment is required, but Cardiff Council has decided that such an assessment is not required for Guildford Crescent’s application.

The time limit may be extended if the board agrees in writing with the applicant.

Matthew Report has been approached for comment.

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