Posted: Tue 11th Jul 2023

Blaenau Gwent’s new Centre of Operations development still on cards

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jul 11th, 2023

A council is still hopeful it can build a new “Centre of Operations” sometime in the future, but questions around funding need to be answered first. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Two years ago, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council revealed their intention to build a new depot at the Marine Colliery site in Cwm, near Ebbw Vale. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The council held a pre-planning application on the scheme during the summer of 2021. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The development would provide a key facility to allow Blaenau Gwent to delivering its front-line services and had been seen as as a direct replacement for the existing Central Depot in Brynmawr. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

At the time the council had hoped that facility would be up and running by now. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Last year the council said that the Covid-19 pandemic which saw the site used as a testing centre had “delayed” the process. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A Blaenau Gwent council spokesman said: “The site is still the preferred location for a future centre of operations.
“It is a potentially large and complex development for the council and its partners.
“Further work is needed to identify the full requirements and funding for all stakeholders and will be subject to a full business case before any timescales for a project start can be approved.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Documents on the proposal are still lodged on the council’s website.
A Design and Access Statement (DAS) by the council’s Community Services Division explains the proposal would be for a two-storey building with a total gross external floor area of 5,766sqm, sitting within an overall site area of 4.6 hectares built at the site. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The DAS said: “The proposed facility is of a modern and sustainable green/future-proof design, which will replace the existing Central Depot at Barleyfield Industrial Estate in Brynmawr.
“The existing depot is outdated and subject to issues with regard to layout, efficiency, and backlog maintenance.
“The proposed replacement depot building will allow for futureproofing in terms of moving towards a carbon neutral building/operation and supporting the authority’s move to a fully electrified fleet within the next five to 10 years.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The site has been subject to a number of temporary uses since the closure of the former Marine Colliery in 1989.
According to the documents a number of council services would be based at the site.
These include: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cleaning.
Waste and recycling.
Grounds maintenance.
Bereavement and cemetery.
Highway maintenance.
Winter maintenance.
Fleet storage and maintenance.
Street lighting and technical services. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By BBC LDRS ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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