THE former site of County Hall in Torfaen will be sold off after the local authority agreed its freehold is surplus to council requirements.
The building, jointly owned by Torfaen County Borough Council (TCBC) and Monmouthshire County Council (MCC), was demolished in October 2013 because of structural defects which were judged to be beyond economic repair.
With the local authority contributing £1 million as half the costs towards the tear-down, a report before the council’s cabinet yesterday recommended the Croesyceiliog site be marketed for sale by Torfaen council on behalf of the two owners.
The council would not say how much it valued the land at, with the site to be put out to tender, but in 2008 it was reported that Torfaen and Monmouth each hoped to receive £4 million.
The cabinet report said: “It is now proposed that cabinet declares our share of the freehold interest in the site surplus to TCBC requirements.”
Cabinet members unanimously agreed the recommendation as they were told the demolition of the site, which is allocated in the local development plan for residential development, alongside the existing Gwent Police HQ, was brought in below budget.
The sale will contribute to one of the council’s corporate priorities, to “prevent Torfaen residents becoming homeless”, the report added.
It said: “One way in which this is to be done is to ensure the range and quality of housing is appropriate to meet people’s needs. Making the County Hall land available for residential development will contribute to this priority.”
The money from the sale was said at the meeting to have been earmarked already for the Torfaen 21st Century Schools Programme.
County Hall was most recently shared by the two councils until both found new premises in Pontypool and Magor respectively.
County Hall was also the now-defunct Gwent County Council offices prior to the restructuring of local authorities in 1996.
But ‘concrete cancer’ was said to have forced its closure, despite it being less than 30 years old when the problem was diagnosed.
The building was officially closed in 2010, with estimates putting repair work at £30 million. This was largely due to rain penetrating the cladding and rusting steel supports.