New Monmouthshire council HQ site in Usk

Friday, 23rd September 2011
  Plans for a new Monmouthshire council headquarters in Usk were approved this week when the planning committee granted the council planning permission to redevelop the Rhadyr site, used by Coleg Gwent, into an office building that will be known as the Democratic Centre. The authority must leave its current home at Cwmbran County Hall by March 2012 as the office block has concrete cancer.     Outline planning permission for the site between Little Mill and Usk was granted in October last year for a twostorey 3,500 sq metre building and a 200 space car park at a cost of around  £18million. However the new proposals are a scaled-down version of the original plans, with a reduced cost of around £8million, after a bigger headquarters was scrapped on cost grounds.     Designs include a two-storey 2,645 sq metre building in two wings, linked by a glazed area.   The ground floor will feature a glazed atrium at its entrance, open plan offices, conference and meeting rooms. A bridged link over part of the glazed area will provide informal seating on the  first floor together with the council chamber, members and chief executive offices and open plan offices for 100 to 120 work stations.  The roof will be made of aluminium and have natural lighting and ventilation, incorporating traditional and contemporary material.     Councillors approved the proposal on Tuesday despite concerns surrounding the increase of traffic using the A472. However, the Countryside Council for Wales has to put in writing that it is satisfied that conservation requirements have been met.