Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s £2 Million Vanity Project in Pontypridd gets planning consent
The Council’s Planning and Development Committee has granted full planning permission for a pedestrian footbridge across the River Taff in Pontypridd, to link the flagship Taff Vale redevelopment with Ynysangharad War Memorial Park.
Taff Vale is a vital strategic scheme in the heart of Pontypridd, to revitalise a derelict site at the gateway to the Town Centre. It will also be the new home of Transport for Wales, bringing hundreds of jobs to the area. Three distinctive buildings are being constructed in the mixed-use development, for which the Council welcomed a £10m Welsh Government investment in March 2018.
The significant funding is from the £110m Building for the Future programme, supported by the European Regional Development Fund.
The development is on the site of the former Taff Vale Shopping Centre, and Building A (nearest Gas Road Car Park) and Building B (the centre of the three buildings) will include office floorspace. Building C (nearest Bridge Street) will be a gateway building, incorporating a 21st Century library, Council customer contact point and a leisure/fitness centre. The new footbridge will provide a convenient link from the Taff Vale development and upper Taff Street, directly into Ynysangharad War Memorial Park.
The Planning and Development Committee considered the Council’s planning application for the footbridge on Thursday, October 18 – which includes the demolition of the disused changing rooms next to the former Day Centre, and the removal of a vehicular ramp to the park’s lower informal parking area.
An Officer report to the Committee recommended the application for approval based on the project’s strategic aims. The footbridge will provide a major asset for the town by creating an extra access to Ynysangharad Park, and will increase the profile of the park and Taff Vale. The development is part of a wider regeneration programme that will deliver significant economic benefits.
The application outlines a cable-stayed footbridge structure with its mast (around 25m high) located near the bank on the park side of the river. Steel suspension cables will extend in pairs from the mast to support the bridge deck at 10m intervals. The mast and cables will be white and the deck will be grey, while benches will be incorporated on the bridge itself.
The bridge will be positioned around 100m south of the William Edwards Bridge, at a point between buildings A and B of the Taff Vale development. The structure will land in Ynysangharad Park, towards the northern part of the area formerly occupied by the Day Centre.
Committee Members agreed with the report’s recommendations at their meeting on Thursday, granting planning permission for the footbridge.
Councillor Robert Bevan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Housing, said: “The granting of planning permission for the new footbridge is another major milestone for the Taff Vale redevelopment. Planning permission for the wider scheme was granted just over a year ago, and fantastic progress has since been made on site with construction advancing very well, as the area continues to transform.
“Taff Vale is at the heart of the Council’s major plans for Pontypridd and the wider Pontypridd Strategic Opportunity area – including a number of future housing, transport and infrastructure projects. Unlocking this strategic site is vital for Pontypridd, with the potential to bring hundreds of jobs to the town. Taff Vale will be the home of Metro operator Transport for Wales, which will increase footfall and improve the town’s retail and commercial offer.
“The footbridge will provide an important pedestrian link from the Taff Vale development to Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, and it is fantastic to see exciting artist’s impressions of what the bridge will look like once completed. The design has been carefully formulated so it is in keeping with Taff Vale, while also providing a new landmark for the town in its own right. It will increase accessibility to the park and the National Lido of Wales, Lido Ponty.
“This latest milestone follows the Welsh Government granting £10m to Taff Vale earlier this year, facilitated by European funding. It shows that the Welsh Government is fully-behind the Council on this project, as we seek to deliver a significant economic boost to the local area and help to further regenerate Pontypridd, which is in a pivotal location in the Cardiff Capital Region.”