The first pocket of land for with planning permission for house building has been released at The Works regeneration site in Ebbw Vale.
The £300m, 10-year regeneration project was approved by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council in 2007. It is located on the 81ha site of the former Corus steel works, which closed down in 2002. Reclamation work included removing redundant structures and contaminated soil, re-grading the surface and backfilling basements.
Next to Ebbw Vale, the project is designed to attract new business and employment to the heads of the valleys area. It is set to include a business hub, 720 new homes and a wetland park. The Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan hospital, a leisure centre, learning facilities, playing fields, a car park and a cableway to the town centre have already been built. The development, which is designed to be ecologically sensitive, will promote walking and cycling and attempt to protect ecology and wildlife.
The land release, in the Northgate area of the site, occupies 2ha and will accommodate about 70 new homes, 10% of which will be affordable. The sale is being handled by informal tender by Savills, on behalf of the council.
Gareth Carter, director at Savills Cardiff, said he expected the offer to attract a lot of interest, as the land is fully serviced, with landscaping and remediation completed. The housing will be a short walk from the Ebbw Vale rail terminus, providing an hourly service to Cardiff, so would be attractive to commuters.
He commented: "The Works has been an outstanding success, bringing new jobs, new facilities and life to an otherwise barren landscape. The public sector investment to date will be a catalyst for private sector commitment."
Cllr Dai Davies, executive member for regeneration and economic development from Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, said that the redevelopment had already transformed the area by introducing transport links, leisure, education and health. He commented: "Northgate is a very exciting opportunity.’’
Speaking when the scheme was approved Ieuan Wyn Jones, Welsh government minister for the economy and transport, said that the Works project would be a catalyst for change, creating social and environmental benefits, employment opportunities and new facilities for future generations.
He added: "The speed with which the site is being brought to market is commendable and an outstanding example of public and private sector organisations working together to bring new life to Ebbw Vale and regenerate a community."