Plans to regenerate “zombie” shopping centre to go before council

5th January 2023 | Jack Oliver

Plans to regenerate Festival Park in Ebbw Vale are set to be reviewed by the Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.

The fate of the shopping centre, which was previously described by some as “a zombie land”, will be decided by members of the Planning Committee on January 12.

Opened in 1992 with the help of taxpayers’ money, Festival Park has since become empty and closed to the public.

The site was purchased by Birmingham-based property developer Mercia Real Estate in 2021 with intentions to transform the site into a mixed-use business centre.

The plans include the remodelling of existing buildings as well as some demolition to create Use Classes A, B, and D units along with changes to the internal paths and yards.

Deconstruction of certain units and the use of existing floor spaces would create yard space and additional car parking, while modifications to existing units would introduce new doors and windows and replace shopfronts with internal facades.

The alterations would reduce the floor space of the site by approximately 1500 square metres, creating 9 buildings comprising of 28 units, varying in floor space from 89-744 square metres.

No objections from members of the public have been submitted to the council.

Planning officer Helen Hinton said: “In the context of fostering economic growth and employment opportunities, it is considered that the re-occupation of the site by a wider variety of uses has the potential to future proof the site and support and enhance the vitality and viability of the area.”

“It is considered that the use and alterations would not have a detrimental impact on the amenity, character or appearance of the application site or wider area”, she added.


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