(Title Image: Bridgend Council)
In the last few days, Bridgend Council’s planning department has published its preferred strategy for the 2018-2033 Local Development Plan (LDP). The LDP will set out how land will be used in Bridgend county for the forseeable future.
The preferred strategy runs close to 200 pages long (pdf).
Public consultation on the preferred strategy will be open until 5pm on Friday November 8th 2019, with drop-in sessions scheduled to held at venues around the county, starting in Porthcawl on 7th October 2019. Full details are available here.
What’s the general plan?
We already know that BCBC has determined that the county needs about 7,500 additional homes between now and 2033, with an extra 3,000 or so jobs expected to be created in the local economy over the same period.
The council decided to go for what they describe as “sustainable urban growth” – which essentially means extending major towns to take advantage of existing employment and service sites, as well as focusing development along major transport corridors. This means most of the land earmarked for development is likely to be in or near Maesteg, Bridgend, Porthcawl, Pyle and Pencoed.
There are also broader goals which have to be factored into the final LDP, including protecting major green spaces, encouraging people to walk and cycle, balancing population growth with capacity in public services (schools, hospitals etc.), protecting natural resources, allocating land for energy projects and business uses and setting out which major transport projects need to be prioritised and delivered by 2033.
There’s no clear detail on any of the above as of yet. The preferred strategy is just the council saying: “These are the broad aims and we’re going to allocate land and prioritise projects based on these aims”.
Where will the major developments take place?
This is probably what you want to know.
Over the last year, BCBC has asked landowners and developers to propose sites for development (known as candidate sites). That process hasn’t finished yet, so the preferred strategy doesn’t set out – down to street or field level – where things are going to be built.
What the preferred strategy does set out, however, is the key pieces of land which are likely going to form the bulk of land set aside for the largest new developments until 2033.
The graphics are taken from the report.
- South of Pont Rhyd-y-Cyff – A southern extension of the village, which BCBC estimates could accommodate up to 500 new homes. There would need to be improvements to road safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Maesteg Washery – Land to the north-west of Maesteg Comprehensive, which could be used for 135 new homes as a “natural expansion of the town”.
- Former Revlon/Cosi factory, Ewenny Road, Maesteg – Outline planning consent has already been granted for a mixed-use development of business units, retail, leisure and up to 150 new homes. A full flood impact assessment is needed.
All of the proposed Llynfi valley developments will require a full transport assessment as part of proposals to improve the Tondu junction and Junction 36 of the M4.
Porthcawl Waterfront Regeneration Area – This includes the area at Eastern Promenade (which is currently subject to regeneration efforts) as well as Sandy Bay. Up to 1,350 new homes could be delivered in total, with a retail and leisure element included in the first phase. A new school could be provided or Newton Primary could be expanded.
It’s dependent on improved coastal flooding defences, plans for which are currently being prepared for Welsh Government approval.
- Island Farm – The shaded area above is slightly off. There’ve been proposals for a Sports Village since 2012, but that’s set to be changed into a residential-led development which would include a proposed National Tennis Centre, an expansion of Bridgend Science Park, a new primary school and a replacement for Heronsbridge Special School. Hut 9 will be protected, though up to 1,000 new homes could be built there. It would require a major upgrade to the A48, both in terms of road traffic and pedestrians/cyclists.
- Parc Afon Ewenni – This site is included in the current LDP for a residential development of up to 400 homes and would be carried over into the new LDP.
- Land between Bryntirion and Laleston – This is probably going to be the most contentious proposal. While the report says that a “green wedge” would be maintained between Laleston and Bridgend (via a new, possibly Welsh-medium, primary school) it says that the allocated land could well accommodate up to 5,000 new homes, though 1,500 is said to be the desired maximum. It also proposes access off Llangewydd Road and the A473 – the former primarily is a residential street, the latter is already a busy main road.
Bridgend College Campus and surrounding land – The land would be allocated for mixed-use development and with speculation over the future of Bridgend College’s Cowbridge Road campus, the college is likely to eventually move to Pencoed in its entirety. Up to 1,000 new homes and a new primary school could be delivered on the site and a “significant area” is earmarked for public open space. It wouldn’t be affected by problems associated with the Felindre Road railway bridge or level crossing. One of the biggest issues is a gas main which crosses the site.
Land east of Pyle– This land is to the east of the A4229, north of the M4 and south of the railway. It could accommodate 1,500 new homes, a new district retail centre and a new primary school. There would need to be a full transport assessment to determine the impact on the A48 (which crosses the site) and the bridge into Pyle from the roundabout.