TRANSPORT HUB: Latest updates on Rhondda Cynon Taf plans
The council could put a Compulsory Purchase Order on land needed to build the Porth Transport Hub.
A report to Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s cabinet meeting on Thursday, April 29 will recommend giving officers the power to put a CPO on land adjacent to the site of the Porth Transport Hub to create a safe access route to the new facility.
The report said that although the council has made its best effort to acquire the necessary land for the provision of the safe access to the Porth Transport Hub development via a mutually beneficial agreement, no such outcome has been achieved at a critical juncture for the project.
It added that whilst constructive dialogue continues with the affected parties, there is still a risk that the discussions may not yield the required result which would have significant ramifications for the progress and viability of the development.
Although it is still hoped that the land can be acquired via agreement, the council said it has become necessary to develop a case for a CPO as a contingency to ensure the authority can still acquire the necessary land, which is integral for the provision of safe and secure access to the new Porth
In order to provide a safe route to the Porth Transport Hub, the report said it is necessary to construct a new access route off Porth Street, Porth.
Rights of access will be maintained for the adjacent nightclub and telephone exchange to allow for continued use of their rear car parks and entrances.
To build this new access route, more land must be acquired which measures 369m² and is located to the east of Porth Street adjacent to a private access lane on its northern boundary.
The land is located at the northern boundary of the British Telecom site and comprises of a flat area of tarmac which forms an access point off Porth Street.
This leads to the rear of the building which is in the ownership of British Telecom but has shared access rights with the adjacent property owners (Meadbro Ltd, owners of the adjacent Squares Nightclub) and leads to a lockable double gated access, with key access controlled by Meadbro Ltd.
While the land in is generally used for access for British Telecom vehicles (and a right of way for vehicles for Meadbro Ltd), British Telecom engineers also use the south western area for parking for two non-service vehicles.
There is also an area for loading mid-way along the building elevation and a number of access chambers containing British Telecom services which require unfettered access periodically.
The new transport hub is a key part of the council’s Porth Town Centre Strategy which is aimed at the regeneration of Porth town centre taking into account the distinctive role Porth has at the gateway to the Rhondda Valleys and its important location for services, employment, housing and transport.
The hub is set to be built at the north end of Hannah Street adjacent to the existing Porth railway station platform allowing easy access to the town centre.
It will serve as a transport interchange linking bus passengers with the existing railway platform.
The hub will coincide with the introduction of the South Wales Metro development and an increase in trains on valleys lines from two to four per hour.
It will cover approximately 3,400 square metres on land created through the purchase and demolition of three key structures including the vacated Barclays Bank building; Porth Farm Surgery and the Alec Jones Day Centre which has seen services moved to the nearby Porth Plaza Community Hub.
The CPO will be submitted to the planning inspectorate and the application may be heard at a public hearing if objections are received.
Welsh Government ministers will then decided to confirm or refuse the CPO with or without changes.
Words: Anthony Lewis, Local Democracy Reporter
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