Bridgend County Borough Council’s Cabinet has approved that the council can move forward with negotiations with supermarket chains, Aldi and ASDA, as well as Network Rail, for the planned demolition of Brackla One multi storey car park in Bridgend town centre – a move which brings the development of the new Bridgend College campus a step closer.
Having been closed for some time, a structural assessment in 2019 revealed that the car park needed some significant repair should it be brought back into use, therefore demolition of the building and redevelopment of the land was the preferred option.
The physical demolition of Brackla One is not straightforward due to the slab style construction of the building, which can become unstable as elements are demolished or removed. However, in line with common practice, any potential risk to or impact on neighbouring parties, namely Aldi, Asda and Network Rail, will be mitigated or avoided through the agreements that have been set out.
Arrangements with National Rail are a little complex, in that it has statutory responsibility for the railway infrastructure, including its protection and safe operation. The council will enter into a Basic Asset Protection Agreement (BAPA) with Network Rail, which outlines the obligations and liabilities of the parties involved.
The BAPA also requires that the council will agree to meet the costs arising from National Rail’s involvement in this project and to provide a prepayment of the estimated expenses associated with the scheme.
Tenders have gone out, and details of costs will be available when the appointed demolition contractor enters into negotiation with Network Rail, highlighting the appropriate requirements to protect the mainline throughout the stages of the project.
Cabinet’s agreement for the council to progress with discussions about the BAPA with Network Rail, as well as the other agreements with Aldi and ASDA, means that demolition of the car park can move forward.
This is a pivotal part of the planning programme which aims to regenerate Bridgend town centre over the next ten years, with the proposed Bridgend College development being built on the Brackla One site and the former South Wales Police Station at Cheapside.
Set to open in September 2026, the campus will encompass two new buildings at Cheapside that will provide exceptional teaching and learning facilities, including a theatre, hair and beauty salons, recording and dance studios, design workshops and more.
The position of the new college will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the economy of Bridgend town centre – daily student and staff footfall in the town will certainly boost local businesses.
This investment is an exciting step in the regeneration of Bridgend town centre.
Councillor Rhys Goode, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Regeneration