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The Local Plan Proposed Development Robertstown Abernant

Site 4: Robertstown / Abernant, Aberdare
Vision:  
Enhancement of Aberdare through commercial, residential and community
development in a central location, with new links and retention of
trees and open spaces

Constraints:  
Access; Flood risk;
Trees and open spaces; Ecology;  
Availability of Aberdare Hospital land

Proposals – Robertstown:
Access – a new spine road linking the A4059 Gadlys roundabout, via a
new level crossing, to Wellington Street and the hospital site;
enlargement of Aberdare Park and Ride car park.
Commercial – B1 light industrial and office development on vacant land
flanking Wellington Street and the new spine road, designed to
emphasise the new entrance to the site
Commercial – hotel, cinema or similar commercial leisure use on the vacant land opposite the park and ride station
Community – medical centre adjoining the park and ride carpark

Proposals – Hospital land:

Access – a new spine road linking Robertstown, the hospital site and Moss Row
Residential Development of 600 units – on the vacated hospital buildings at higher density, on the field rear of
Abernant Road and bordering the retained parkland at medium density; and on the field south of Moss Row at lower density

Community – a new community primary school off Abernant
Road
Trees and open space – the parkland northwest of the hospital buildings
is largely designated a site of importance for nature conservation,
along with the wooded slope down to the River Cynon and Cynon Valley
Trail. The mature trees in this area and throughout the rest of the
site are protected.
The parkland is to be retained for the enjoyment of residents.
Phasing – in the Robertstown area, no more than 75% of commercial
development measured by gross floorspace shall be completed before the
level crossing link between the
A4059 and Wellington Street is open to traffic.
On the hospital land, no more than 25% of the residential development
shall be completed before the link to the A4059 via the Robertstown
area is open.

Context:
The Robertstown / Abernant strategic site comprises two separate areas
brought together by their availability for development, their proximity
to Aberdare town centre, their proximity to rail and road connections,
and their severance from the town centre and road connections by the
railway line. Should this separation and severance be overcome by a new
road link, the locational advantages of the strategic site would result
in development that would strengthen Aberdare town centre and the image
of the town generally.
The Robertstown area of the strategic site comprises generally flat and
vacant land adjoining the village, the River Cynon and the Aberdare
railway. The only buildings are a factory and a disused railway
station. There is an underused recreation field, unused former railway
sidings, the vacant site of a former furniture factory and a park and
ride car park by the station. Wellington Street runs through the area
connecting it with the village, Aberdare Trade Park and the A4059 via a
level crossing at the north end. Wellington Street also connects to the
A4059 via Abernant Road and a narrow underpass at the south end.
A spine road is proposed through the site from the Gadlys roundabout
via a level crossing, (a) to overcome the separation of the two areas
of the strategic site, and (b) to improve access from the A4059 and the
town centre. In view of the flood risk issues, the majority of the site
is devoted to B1 light industry and offices. The existing factory could
be retained. Land by the station is proposed for a medical centre,
extension of the park and ride car park and a hotel, cinema or similar
commercial leisure use to take advantage of the accessible location.
The disused station building needs to be incorporated into these
developments.    
The Abernant area comprises the buildings and grounds of
Aberdare General Hospital. A replacement hospital for the
Cynon Valley has been planned for a site in Mountain Ash, therefore it
is assumed that the hospital site will become available in the mid plan
period. The topography is uneven and generally slopes up from a wooded
bank beside the River Cynon. The hospital buildings have grown in a
piecemeal fashion and are surrounded by parkland and fields with
protected trees. The hospital buildings are considered suitable for
redevelopment, although the more modern elements could be suitable for
conversion.  The parkland and adjoining wooded bank beside the river
are worth preserving for their ecological value and visual amenity.
Further up the slope, where there are fewer trees and the site adjoins
existing housing at Moss
Row, the fields are suitable for residential development with density
decreasing towards Moss Row. There is a requirement for a replacement
primary school for Abernant and therefore a site with easy access from
Abernant Road is required. The existing hospital access from Abernant
Road is to be retained as a secondary access. The primary access will
be from the spine road designed to connect to the Robertstown area and
the A4059. This link will have an environmental impact where it crosses
the Cynon and the wooded bank: in view of the need for the link, the
impacts will require mitigation in the design.
Phasing – both the Robertstown area and the upper hospital land are
capable of development in advance of the vacation of the hospital
buildings. Completion of the main elements of development in the
relatively accessible Robertstown area is limited to 75% before opening
of the road link to ensure its provision. Ideally no development on the
less accessible hospital lands would be allowed before opening of the
spine road link. However, in view of the need to release finance for
the link, up to 25% of the hospital land can be developed before it
opens, but no more in order to ensure that it is provided.

Link to Rhondda Cynon Taff Council - Developemnt Plan.
http://www.aberdareonline.org.uk/?q=content/no-hope-plan-rct

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=cf44&ie=UTF8&ll=51.71...

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