Plans lodged for demolition of Blaenau Gwent Civic Centre
Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter
Plans have been lodged to demolish the former headquarters of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council in Ebbw Vale.
This follows a move by the council for more home working and services to be accessed by residents through “community hubs.”
On July 13, the council itself lodged an “application for prior notification of proposed demolition for the demolition of the Civic Centre and its associated structures.”
This means that before starting work to demolish a building takes place, prior approval notification triggers a 28-day process in which the authority need to decide whether formal planning approval for the demolition is needed.
Prior notification is not a full planning application but a shorter process that requires less supporting information.
A decision is required in a shorter time frame than the usual eight weeks.
If formal planning permission is needed, then the details of how to carry out the demolition and what will happen to the site afterwards are needed.
The decision to leave and demolish the 1970s Civic Centre was made back in March 2021.
The Grade II listed former steelworks General Office in Ebbw Vales has now become a “democratic hub” for Blaenau Gwent and is effectively the council’s headquarters.
Community Hubs have been opened in libraries in Blaenau Gwent towns for residents to access council services and many of the council staff work from home.
Funding of £650,000 has been set aside for the demolition of the Civic Centre, which is expected to be covered by the subsequent sale of the land.
According to a blueprint to revitalise Ebbw Vale it is expected that the Civic Centre site and its surrounding area will eventually become: “an exemplary neighbourhood of modern homes in a green sustainable setting.”
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