In 2015, Bridgend Council sold off and demolished their former social services and registry offices at Sunnyside.
Plans were submitted (and permission granted) for a care home, but since the offices were demolished, no activity has taken place at the site and signs advertising the care home have been taken down. All that’s left is a fenced-off pile of rubble.
The Sunnyside site has also been joined by a newly-derelict former Magistrates Court, which closed when court services were centralised in Port Talbot by the UK Government in 2016.
Considering this once formed part of what could be called Bridgend’s “Civic Core”, it’s becoming something of an embarrassment. We’re just fortunate you can’t really see it unless you specifically go past there.
Things might, however, be about to change.
A tender has gone out on behalf of Linc Housing Association to develop what’s described as a “Wellness Village” at Sunnyside. The brief seems to include a GP surgery, community clinics, pharmacy, a dental surgery and supported housing.
I don’t know whether this is linked to the recent announcement that two GP surgeries in Bridgend – Ashfield & Newcastle – are going to merge in November. Due to the current poor/outdated facilities at the two practices, you would assume it would be the driving force behind the creation of a modern Primary Care Centre for Bridgend similar to the one currently under construction in Porthcawl.
Sunnyside was also listed in the latest Housing Land Availability Study (pdf) with 40 dwellings allocated. It’s unclear whether this is a reference to the care home or whether, in private, BCBC expect part of the land to be developed as housing – which would explain Linc’s involvement.
With BCBC expecting to leave Sunnyside House (next to the Fire Station) in 2021 as part of a drive to reduce the number of offices it has, this whole area is becoming a prime spot for redevelopment and it’s very rare that such a spot of this size becomes available.
I hope all those involved make the most of it. Of course, when there’s news on what exactly is going to be planned for the site I’ll provide an update.