Former Caerphilly indoor market bought by council for £1.3m
Caerphilly town’s former indoor market on Pentrebane Street has been bought by Caerphilly County Borough Council for £1.3 million.
The purchase, which went through in March this year, was revealed in a council report looking at plans to redevelop the site into flats with housing association Linc Cymru.
The council has said it is “close” to securing a compulsory purchase order (CPO) for the buildings which are home to Manhattan Kitchen, Thai Tulip Café, and Discount Stores at a cost of £500,000. It is also is in discussions with the freeholder of 1 Pentrebane Street.
Three different options for the site – which includes properties on Pentrebane Street and Clive Street – are to be presented to senior councillors on Wednesday June 28.
Option three in the report is highlighted as the councils “recommended” scheme. It proposes 73 flats across three blocks, six storeys high, in addition to a commercial unit on the ground floor. The report states 60% of the flats will be social housing and 40% private.
Deputy leader of the council, Cllr Jamie Pritchard, said: “For many years, people on the doorstep have asked for the top end of town to be regenerated. This is exactly what we will be doing. There’s no point tinkering at the edges. We need to deliver what we’ve promised.”
Plans to redevelop Pentrebane Street were originally put forward in 2018, and are part of the council’s Caerphilly 2035 regeneration masterplan.
A pre-application for 64 flats was submitted in October 2021. The council’s report admits progress on the scheme has been “slow”.
The pre-application received “numerous” concerns from the council’s own planning department, which has led to the council putting forward three different options for the site.
The first option is to continue with the plans outlined in the pre-application. Option two proposes to build 59 flats and a commercial unit on Pentrebane Street and at properties 16 to 20 Clive Street.
The council has previously secured £4,124,993 from the Welsh Government’s transforming towns fund for the scheme, due to Caerphilly being designated a town of “strategic importance”.
But, option three is expected to cost £4m more than what was proposed in the initial pre-application. As a result, Welsh Government has agreed to review the funding.
In January 2021, the council committed £200,000 to the redevelopment of Pentrebane Street. So far the it has spent £104,000 of this on securing a compulsory purchase order for properties on Pentrebane Street.
On Wednesday, senior councillors are expected to approve an additional contribution of £250,000 from uncommitted capital earmarked reserves.
No formal planning application has been submitted for any of the options yet.
By BBC LDRS
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