Funding agreed to demolish the former Cwm Coking works site
Written by Gavin on 20th July 2023
An agreement that will enable £8m of outside funding to be secured from the Cardiff Capital Region to demolish and remediate the large derelict Cwm Coking works site in Beddau, making it ready for future development, has been authorised by Cabinet Members.
On Monday, July 17, RCT Council’s Cabinet approved an agreement between the Council and developer Persimmon Plc Group, enabling access to major funding from the Cardiff Capital Region Housing Viability Fund. The funding will be used to remove the disused coking works and decontaminate the land – to unlock a strategic site which is included in the Local Development Plan (LDP).
In total, £35m was available from the Cardiff Capital Region to facilitate major residential developments that have stalled, and would not ordinarily go ahead without public sector intervention. Many projects are not considered to be commercially-viable because of the costs of removing ground contamination. All 10 councils in the region were invited to bid for funding.
The Council successfully secured £11.554m for three projects – Cwm Coking works (£8m), the former Aberdare hospital (£2.04m) and Nant y Wenallt/Moss Place (£1.514m). The funding could help facilitate around 1,000 new homes.
Following Cabinet’s decision on Monday, the Council will now enter into an agreement with the developer, where the Council allocates the funding and monitors the progress of the development. This follows an additional agreement with the Cardiff Capital Region to manage the grant for the Cwm Coking works scheme. In the event that the development is not delivered, the Cardiff Capital Region funding will effectively need to be repaid by the developer.
Monday’s Cabinet report added that the site in Beddau has been the subject of previous planning applications, but little or no interest has been expressed that would suggest the development would go ahead. The Cardiff Capital Region funding would bridge a financial gap, established through a robust independent appraisal, faced by developers to demolish and decontaminate the site – which is required ahead of any significant development.
Councillor Mark Norris, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Development and Prosperity, said:
“Cabinet’s decision on Monday will enable the Council to enter an agreement with Persimmon to provide £8m funding to demolish and decontaminate the Cwm Coking works – which is a vast, strategic site in Beddau. The Council secured around a third of the total £35m funding made available across the Cardiff Capital Region, and the Cwm Coking works project is the largest single development to benefit.
“This is a great opportunity, with the site previously thought to be unviable for commercial development. It has been a blight on the community for many years, and bridging the funding gap to ensure the area is development-ready is a large milestone towards bringing it back into beneficial use – as outlined in the LDP. The funding is also at little risk for the Council, due to mechanisms within the agreement whereby the developer has responsibility to re-pay the Cardiff Capital Region funding if the site is not developed within an agreed timescale.
“Residents are assured that the site’s biodiversity will be a vital consideration in any future project – both in the initial work to remediate the site and then for the future housing development. It is also important to add that the community will be able to have their say at several key points of the process for the future development. This includes significant community and stakeholder engagement by the developer before a planning application is submitted, and also comprehensive consultation exercise once a formal application is received.
“Officers will now look to progress the agreement with the developer to secure the £8m funding, and will keep residents up to date at key milestones leading up to the demolition work taking place on site.”