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Bridgend: Planning approved for town centre college campus

A PLANNING application for a new college campus, designed to rejuvenate Bridgend town centre has been approved by Bridgend Council’s planning committee this week.

The plans that would see a multi-million pound campus developed on the site of a former police station and car park at Cheapside in Bridgend has now been given the green light by council bosses for work to begin, subject to conditions.

It means a modern campus worth £70 million could soon be created in the town, featuring amenities such as classrooms, IT suites, multi-purpose studios, catering kitchens, hair and beauty salons, dance studios and performance areas. There would also be a 250-seat theatre alongside a café, and cycle storage.

Members in attendance heard how Bridgend Town Council had raised some concerns over the design of the campus during the consultation period, however county councillors felt the plans were an overall positive thing and approved them unanimously.

Others, such as Cllr. Freya Bletsoe, said tweaks needed to be made to the plans to tackle potential concerns over parking in the area, adding that members would keep an eye on the situation.

Officers, however, told members that Bridgend town centre was well served to meet the demand for both students and members of staff parking at the site, adding that the plans were well within planning policy.

The proposals will now go-ahead, subject to a total of 38 conditions that include the submission of a revised design to the main entrance of the building facing Brackla Street, along with an improved landscaping scheme, and further reports on traffic and noise control for the area.

The work, which is expected to take two years to complete, could begin shortly after the ‘complex’ demolition of the Brackla One multi-storey car park due to be finished early next year.

The report read: “It is expected that the development will provide a long-term facility for the wider community and Bridgend town centre in conjunction with funding from the Welsh Government as a carbon net zero project. It offers an opportunity to modernise and rationalise college teaching facilities within a “fit for purpose” campus environment with students benefitting from the greater learning and employment opportunities available from a town centre location.”

Council leader Huw David previously said: “It is indeed a very, very exciting project and will secure the biggest ever single investment in Bridgend town centre, and the biggest ever investment in an educational project in the county borough as well. That is the scale and extent and potential impact of this project.”