United Welsh Housing Association & Lovell Partnership
Caerphilly, South Wales
Planning Achieved Autumn 2011
Caerphilly District Miners’ Hospital was built in 1923 to provide health care for the 24,000 miners and their families who worked in the 29 pits of the Rhymney Valley. Following the mines closure the hospital was run by the NHS but this closed following the opening of a new Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr Hospital in 2011 leaving the site vacant within the heart of the community .
The adopted design vision for the redevelopment of the Caerphilly District Miners’ Hospital site was a ‘New Homes for All’ approach, to achieve a truly balanced community housing scheme. This would provide a range of tenures with affordable housing alongside market-priced housing responding to a spread of households with different incomes and a social mix. The Grade II listed Beeches building has been retained and refurbished, and is now used as a multi functional facility hosting a range of community services for local residents.
The design objective was to respond to the local character and important historic context of the area providing a characterful legible development being mindful of the relationship between public and private space while promoting quality, choice and variety. The new development comprises 82 mixed tenure homes offering a wide range of dwelling types and sizes, including 2, 3 and 4 bedroom terraced and semi-detached houses with three small blocks of 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. A small number of 4 bedroom detached houses were also provided for larger families on higher incomes wishing to remain in the area.
The new homes were designed to create an exemplar high quality, contemporary housing development but incorporating traditional features using locally sourced materials. Brick arches, artificial stone lintels, cills and window surrounds, reflect the quality of the ‘grander’ houses in the surrounding area and the stone features of former ‘The Beeches’ hospital building retained as a community centre. These features were used throughout the development irrespective of the tenure of individual properties.