An office block near one of Cardiff's busiest roads could be turned into student flats. Plans submitted to Cardiff council to convert Trafalgar House in Fitzalan Place, near Newport Road, into student accommodation include proposals to add a three- and two-storey extension to the office block.

Work to the building, which was constructed in the 1970s, will also include partial demolition and fitting a new design to the exterior. A planning document produced on behalf of the applicants, Urban Centric Trafalgar Ltd, states that the office block has been under-used in recent years.

The design and access statement, by CW Architects, also argues that the city's office district and commercial hub has shifted to areas closer to the city centre like Central Square and Callaghan Square. It adds that the office was last used for "flexible, easy in/out small suites which are somewhat dingy and fit poorly into the existing fabric" and calls the overall building "outdated" and "off-pitch". For more Cardiff news sign up to our newsletter here.

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The publication of the planning application comes at about the same time as plans for a huge new student accommodation block in the city centre were approved by Cardiff council's planning committee. Once built the apartment block earmarked for land currently occupied by Friary House will be 28 storeys in height and include commercial floorspace on the ground floor and a roof terrace on the 11th floor.

According to a council report on the plans the student liaison officer in Cardiff said demand for student accommodation in the city has increased significantly since the Covid-19 pandemic. Student numbers in Cardiff University and Cardiff Metropolitan University have also increased in recent years.

The student accommodation proposed for Trafalgar House will have en suite bedrooms, study areas, and kitchens. There are also plans for centralised study and social areas in the building. Outside the developers propose carrying out landscaping work along Fitzalan Place and Newport Road Lane and the ground floor would be retained as commercial space.