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Cardiff’s Tramshed gets permission to stay open late more nights a year

Popular Cardiff music venue Tramshed has been given permission to stay open late for 31 nights a year despite local opposition.

The venue, on Pendyris Street in Grangetown, originally was allowed to stay open until 3am for 21 nights a year.

In summer last year, Cardiff council granted permission for a 12-month trial where the venue could stay open an extra 10 nights until 3am.

But due to the coronavirus lockdowns, the venue couldn’t actually open for most of that trial period, so applied for a 12-month extension, which the council’s planning committee granted on Wednesday, November 3.

A petition against the plans was signed by 84 people, who raised concerns about noise from the late night events, as well as anti-social behaviour from people leaving the venue after events.

Yusef Jama, who organised the petition, said: “The area has never had any problems with anti-social behaviour, living here was pleasant and peaceful until the Tramshed began to become more popular, with public events attracting larger crowds. From this point, living in the area was no longer pleasant; it became a nightmare.

“The Tramshed led to anti-social behaviour rocketing from zero to a significant level and at ungodly hours of the night. Once the venue is closed, the attendees linger around in our streets, shouting, screaming and laughing. Often they sit on some residents’ steps, causing a disturbance sometimes until 4am or 5am.”

A planning agent on behalf of the Tramshed, said there was no evidence that anti-social behaviour was linked to revellers at the venue, but could be from people walking back home from nights out in the city centre. He added the venue would listen to concerns of the petitioners and local residents, and is working to improve its operations.

The agent said: “Tramshed is not a nightclub. It is an arts and cultural events space that serves the population of Grangetown and Cardiff. 31 late opening events are essential for the commercial sustainability of Tramshed, and without them there is a serious chance that the business would be forced to close.

“These events will also enable Tramshed to provide cultural and musical experiences to the underserved demographic of youth and ethnic minority groups. The purpose of this temporary planning permission will enable the council to review the impact of these events before committing to granting permanent planning permission for these late opening events.

“Tramshed has continued to show engagement with the police, environmental health and the local community. Tramshed is continually improving its operations to include street cleaning, security patrols in the surrounding area, as well as providing a safe space for their guests. There is nothing to suggest increasing hours of operation would have a direct effect on increasing anti-social behavior.”

Local ward councillors also raised concerns about anti-social behaviour, and said there was indeed a direct link between late night events and increased problems for residents.

Councillor Ashley Lister said: “When the Tramshed was opened as a community facility, the original plans were for a building with a limited number of late night events which mainly attracted the 40-plus age group. That has changed significantly, and it tends to be attracting a much younger audience. All the events are now DJ-led and focused on a younger audience, and actually quite focused on income generation rather than community benefit.

“I completely disagree that this is an arts and cultural venue. It was sold to the community as similar to Chapter in Canton. If you walk past that building during most days, you see the gates closed. The main time you see the building used is for late night events, whether that’s at 11pm or 3am, and we are then getting the issues being caused on neighbouring streets.

“I regularly walk that way into town and home from town on a night out, and I don’t see any issues except for the nights where we have events on at the Tramshed. We don’t understand why there should be a trial for a further 12 months when we already know the issues which are being caused by the late night licences that are already there.”

Seven councillors voted in favour of granting permission while three voted against.

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