New Visitor Centre approved for Parc Penallta
Rhiannon James, local democracy reporter
A new £2.1 million “modern” visitor centre with a learning hub, café and exhibitions area is set to be built in Parc Penallta.
Caerphilly County Borough Council, who submitted the planning application, has said due to the pandemic more people are using the park, in Ystrad Mynach, which it says demonstrates the need for a visitor centre.
Planning permission was granted to the council by its cross-party planning committee at a meeting held on Wednesday, April 13.
A condition of the planning permission is that a public transport service is put in place at the park – this is likely to entail buses which pass along the A472 must stop at the park.
Disabled parking spaces and bicycle store facilities will be added to the existing car park, which currently has 39 spaces.
The report presented to the committee states: “The proposed building represents a well designed addition to the country park, which will sit comfortably within the landscape and would enhance the area within which it is located.”
It is set to be constructed using sustainable techniques and using timber from Parc Penallta.
At the meeting, Plaid Cymru councillor John Taylor – who was Cabinet Member with responsibility for parks when Parc Penallta first opened – praised the development and supported officers’ recommendations to approve the development.
The Welsh Government will provide a grant of £903,000 towards the project, while the council will fund the remaining £1,168,000 from the Corporate Projects budget.
Costs could be increased as the tender process is set to take place again due to the time that has passed since the initial one – this will provide a final price for the project.
When approved by the cabinet, Cllr Nigel George, Cabinet Member with responsibility for parks and countryside, said: “The enhancement of this country park will reinforce the importance of our environments and landscapes, the health and wellbeing of our communities and contribute towards a strong identity for Caerphilly County Borough, the Valleys Regional Park and Wales as a whole.”
The project is expected to be completed by spring 2023.
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