PLANS for the former Cardigan hospital site have been revised with fewer homes - pausing the project for at least another year - after the start of construction on the project had already been “delayed as a result of the economic situation.”
Ceredigion County Council gave the green light for a Wales & West Housing project to transform the site in June 2021.
The original plans included 34 eco-home apartments for older people and office space for up to 60 staff on the site, a regional base for its in-house maintenance company Cambria Maintenance Services, a public café and gardens including a public walkway.
The building - first opened as a hospital in 1922 - closed at the end of 2019 after a long-awaited state-of-the-art multi-million pound integrated health centre was opened in the town earlier that year.
Demolition work began in spring 2022, followed by ground levelling work.
But Wales & West Housing said that the beginning of construction on the project was “delayed as a result of the economic situation affecting the cost and availability of materials and labour in the construction sector”.
While archaeological work has now restarted on site, the delays on the project will continue, with fresh plans drawn up to only have 20 homes on the site that will need new permission.
Wales & West Housing said it is “working with architects to redesign the development, the result of which will reduce the number of apartments to 20, provide extra parking for residents and open up views of St Mary’s Church and the Priory House.”
Gareth Thomas, Regional Development Manager at Wales & West Housing said: “Like many house builders, we have faced a number of challenges with materials and labour post-pandemic, which we could not have foreseen, and these have delayed the project longer than we would have liked.
“After we demolished the hospital buildings, we had a lot of comments from people in the town telling us how much they enjoyed being able to see St Mary’s Church.
“We reflected on the development and felt that our current design didn’t make the most of the view of the splendid eastern window of St Mary’s Church, which is next to our site.
“We have decided to revise our plans to take out one of the original apartment blocks.
“This will open the view to both the back of Priory House and the eastern window of St Mary’s Church, meaning that everyone visiting Cardigan via Pont y Cleifion will be able to enjoy that view at the gateway to the town.
“This is an important development for us, and the town, so we have always wanted to do the right thing.
“We believe that our revised design will significantly enhance the scheme for the people who will live and work there and the visitors and local people who use the public areas.”
The revised plans will now have to go out for a pre-application public consultation, “where the revised designs will be unveiled and feedback from local people will be considered before the new planning application is submitted to Ceredigion County Council,” Wales & West Housing said.
If permission is granted, “construction work is expected to restart next summer and will take approximately two years to complete,” the company added.