Name of the case study
New Tredegar Regeneration Scheme
Description of context
• The National Assembly for Wales has a legal duty to pursue sustainable development in all it does. This is built into its constitution through section 121 of the Government of Wales Act.
• Caerphilly County Borough Council published in December 2000 its draft ´Sustainable Development Strategy´. Over 100 organisations and individuals were involved in developing the strategy. The draft Strategy sets out how the Authority and partner organisations are working towards achieving more sustainable development across the range of services provided by the municipality.
• Caerphilly County Borough Council also have a Sustainable Development Policy (1997): "Caerphilly County Borough will work towards creating the best environment and achieving the best quality of life for the communities of Caerphilly County Borough – today and tomorrow" http://www.caerphilly.gov.uk/thecouncil/sustainabledevelopment/index.htm
• As the ninth most deprived ward in Wales, the National Assembly for Wales decided to designate Caerphilly a Community First Area. Formed in 2001, the New Tredegar Communities First Partnership covers the wards of New Tredegar and Tirphil, and is aimed at reducing poverty and helping to improve the lives of people who live in the poorest areas. The communities form a partnership in order to develop a Local Action Plan, which identifies local solutions to local needs. The partnerships include members of the community, people from community organisations, representatives of statutory agencies, such as local and health authorities, the police, and people from voluntary organisations and business.
• New Tredegar is within the Caerphilly Objective 1 area. The West Wales and the Valleys region qualify for Objective 1 because they are defined as requiring maximum levels of European aid. The Programme is divided into 7 Priorities, which then addresses a number of different Measures within the Priorities for example Priority 3 is on Community Economic Regeneration and aims to combat social exclusion by targeting local, community based action on the most deprived communities to increase skills and employability, provide greater access to more diverse opportunities and to improve conditions for business.
Description of project - background
New Tredegar is in the Rhymney Valley in South Wales. During the late nineteenth century opencast mining was followed by deep mining in the area. Housing, commerce and transportation facilities were constructed to service workers. However, closure of the collieries in the second half of the twentieth century has seen New Tredegar and the surrounding area become neglected with those seeking employment moving out of the area.
The area is the 9th most deprived ward (a geographical area, made up of towns and villages that has its own elected political representative) in Wales and the most deprived in Caerphilly County Borough Council (CCBC). This has resulted in social deprivation and associated health problems and little economic investment over many years.
To counteract these problems CCBC have invested in the area to include:
• reclamation of contaminated land,
• new school,
• new road to bypass village,
• community building housing an IT suite/cyber café, healthy living centre, crime prevention centre/police station, community hall and learning centre/library.
• industrial units to contain a number of small businesses.
Description of project - objectives/aims
The overarching aim of the scheme is improve the quality of life of residents in New Tredegar and the surrounding area by investing in the built environment. This will include environmental, social and economic improvements. The three key innovations of the project are to:
• Create unique community involvement – partnering arrangement will include the voluntary sector.
• Quality led procurement method – concentrates on quality not price to align employer and contractor aims.
• A building that educates – a sustainable building with transparent sustainable issues.
These are stated as part of the Constructing Excellence Best Practice Knowledge website.
The new school will educate 390 children aged between 2 –11 and will replace three local schools. The school is to be known as "White Rose Primary School – Ysgol Gynradd Rhosyn Gwyn", and will include an Integrated Children’s Centre (ICC) that will bring together education, social services, childcare training and information, health and the voluntary sector, to provide a range of linked services.
The school has been designed to achieve ´Secured by Design´ status, which involves among other requirements laminated glass in windows and a number of CCTV cameras for security. Environmental educational features have been incorporated into the design of the school for example, sections of under floor heating, ventilation systems and rainwater drains and storm water culverts will be displayed to allow pupils to understand the working of such systems. It is hoped that this might interest children in the building trade for potential future employment.
Other sustainability measures are being undertaken:
• Reclamation of a brownfield site,
• Recovering stone from old buildings to construct retaining walls and drainage channels,
• Crushing waste material to provide a sub base for roads,
• Reuse of storm water – water supplies onsite are currently being monitored to identify whether seasonal variation provides a sufficient source of grey water for the school,
• Sedum was considered for a green roof for the school. This idea was eventually discarded due to potential fire risk and vandalism concerns,
• Programme of reptile capture and relocation and other environmental considerations.
Construction of Ysgol Gynradd Rhosyn Gwyn School, April 2004
A bypass is being built to reduce traffic along the narrow and congested main road of the village. A number of traffic calming schemes are also being introduced. Industrial units to contain small businesses will be constructed near the bypass as part of the regeneration scheme. One unit will contain a workshop that modifies cars for people with disabilities. Residential log cabins will be built near the unit to house the individuals whilst cars are being adapted.
Engineering works underway for modification of the road network
Description of project - time interval and stages
Planning for the development began in 2000. Construction of the school and community building began in August 2003 and opened for teaching in September 2004. The official opening of White Rose Primary School, Resource Centre and Police Station took place on Friday 22nd October 2004.
New Tredegar is the biggest and most comprehensive construction project undertaken by the council other than Private Finance Initiatives. The scheme is promoted by CCBC and the New Tredegar Communities Partnership (http://www.newtredegar-newstart.co.uk). The Principle Contractor is Alfred McAlpine Construction Ltd. Designers are CCBC Consultancy, Capita Gwent Consultancy, Stride Treglown Davies (Architect), Tandy Building Services M&E Consultants, Bingham Hall O´Hanlon (Structural Engineers). Chandler KBS is acting both as Cost Consultant and Partnering Advisor.
Description of project - financing
The total cost of the project is circa £19 million provided by a number of sources including Objective 1 funding and Communities First. The reclamation of the site is being funded by the Welsh Development Agency. The stakeholders in the project include the European Union, Welsh Assembly Government, CCBC and the Welsh Development Agency. The New Tredegar Partnership Board played a key role in driving forward and securing funding for the works. A number of other bodies have been involved: Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations (who give grants for local projects to promote regeneration within local communities), Groundwork, Health Trust, Local Health Authority, Police, Schools and Colleges and Caerphilly County Borough Council.
Description of project - other sectors involved
What tools were used to assess sustainability?
Constructing Excellence´s M4I Sustainability Project
Performance Indicator Assessment Tool
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
New Tredegar Community Partnership
Secured by Design tool
Click here for a full description (pdf)