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Down-sized shops plan is passed

14 September 09 11:19 GMT

A scaled-down redevelopment plan for an "eyesore" shopping precinct has won the go-ahead from planning councillors.

Taff Vale shopping centre in Pontypridd will be demolished to make way for three large shops, three small shops, a restaurant and a river terrace.

The original Riverside scheme, which included apartments and offices, was scrapped due to the economic climate.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said building work was expected to begin in spring next year.

The developers, Taff Vale Limited, had previously said the project would take around 12 to 13 months to complete.

The 1960s-built Taff Vale shopping precinct has long been considered an eyesore by many residents and its redevelopment is considered an important part of rejuvenating the town.

A £50m redevelopment scheme featuring offices, shops, a hotel and apartments was shelved in January this year amid the construction industry downturn.

'Confidence'

A spokesman for the developers said the economic climate had forced them "back to the drawing board".

The plans approved by the local authority's development control committee on Monday are more focused on retail.

It also involves the demolition of an office block in Taff Street to ground floor level.

Councillor Paul Cannon said the new plans were a "visible sign of private sector confidence in Pontypridd".

He said: "Clearly the proposed scheme can play an important role in the key objective of enhancing Pontypridd town centre as a major shopping destination in south Wales."

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