In 2017 the Welsh Government announced £68m of funding to provide 19 new integrated health and wellbeing centres across Wales. Tredegar was named as one of the first towns to host one of the new centres. RPS was instructed to secure outline planning consent for the new centre, including demolition of the existing hospital buildings.
The scheme is part of a step change in healthcare delivery in Wales and will provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for health and wellbeing for the residents of Tredegar.
Tredegar Health and Wellbeing Centre
Kier Construction and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
Former Tredegar General Hospital, Park Row, Tredegar
Tredegar has a strong historical association with the founding of the NHS and the demolition of the buildings was acknowledged as a sensitive issue by the Health Board. The existing buildings, whilst not listed, fall within two conservation areas and are adjacent to Bedwellty House and Garden, which is a Registered Park and Garden.
Re-using and repurposing all of these buildings was explored and discounted on clinical and cost grounds early on in the process. A small element of the original hospital building will remain.
Only outline consent is required to apply to Welsh Government for funding but initially, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council would not accept that an outline application could be made for demolition in a conservation area. The Health Board could not risk the expense of a full application without funding in place and so through careful negotiation with Cadw and the Council, it was agreed an outline application could be made.
Coupled with the heritage constraints, the existing buildings are currently being used by bats, requiring suitable mitigation to be in place prior to demolition.
To provide sufficient comfort to the Council and Cadw that any scheme would continue to preserve and enhance the character and appearance of the conservation areas, enhanced details of scale, layout and appearance were submitted at outline stage. RPS prepared a Built Heritage Assessment to support the application and engaged directly with Cadw to agree mitigation measures to address the impact on Bedwellty House and Park.
To deal with the issue of bats, a permanent bat roost is proposed and a full planning application was submitted in September 2019. This will be in place prior to demolition starting in March 2020.
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