CAMPAIGNERS who fought to save a Valleys hospital say they are disgusted after the local council gave the go-ahead for it to be demolished.

A group of local residents have protested against plans to demolish Blaina and District Hospital in Nantyglo and replace it with 20 bungalows for older people.

The application for the bungalows by the United Welsh Housing Association will be discussed by the council's planning committee next month.

The building is owned by the Aneurin Bevan Health Board but the housing association has exchanged contracts subject to gaining planning permission from the council.

A separate application for the demolition of the building, which was built in 1910 and paid for by miners, has already been passed by the council but the developer will have to meet certain criteria, such as the protection of some of the trees, bats and birds, before it can actually demolish the building.

Kenneth Young, from Save Blaina and District Hospital Group, said: "We're disgusted, disappointed and downhearted."

But he said they will keep fighting to save the hospital.

He said the group had originally hoped to buy the hospital themselves, with grant funding, and turn the hospital into a museum with community and business space as well.

Mr Young said the site is an eyesore but that this is only cosmetic and said anti-social behaviour is now being kept under control.

A spokeswoman for the council said: "There have been objections to the hospital being demolished but Cadw has not made it a listed building.

The council is not in a position to prevent the demolition of the building."

But she said discussions are taking place about the use of materials from the building to reflect the site's history.

She said the plans for the bungalows are currently out for consultation but that some of the details are likely to change because of issues around access, design, materials and trees.