Nuclear bunker under Cwmbran County Hall knocks £675,000 off value

WAR BUNKER: A nuclear shelter under County Hall in Cwmbran has knocked £675,000 off the site's value

OFFICIAL OPENING: The Queen Mother at County Hall in 1978

First published in Gwent news

A DISUSED nuclear shelter built underneath the former headquarters of two councils will have to be filled in before the site can be sold – and that will slash the cash they can raise from its sale.

County Hall, in Cwmbran, which was shared by Monmouthshire and Torfaen councils, closed in March because the building has ‘concrete cancer’. With rain penetrating the cladding and rusting steel supports, it would have cost £30 million to repair.

At last week’s meeting of Monmouthshire Council, held at the Shire Hall, Monmouth, councillors were told that a void in the ground underneath the site is part of the reason that the value of the land has reduced by £675,000 since valuations were lastt made.

In 2008 the Argus reported that Monmouthshire and Torfaen councils hoped to get around £4 million each when the site was sold – but land prices have since plummeted.

The council’s deputy leader, Cllr Bob Greenland, said the 34-year-old County Hall site at Cwmbran has recently been re-valued and is no longer worth the £900,000 since estimated.

He said: “Investigations at County Hall discovered a void underneath that is so large that when it is demolished we would have to import large amounts of soil to flatten off the site.”

The bunker forms only a part of the void so council needs to carry out investigations to find out how big it is and what else is down there.

Cllr Greenland said that as a consequence the Estates team revised the asset valuation to £275,000.

Referring to the audit of financial statements report, he said: “The asset valuation of County Hall is overstated by £675,000.

“The council no longer uses County Hall at Cwmbran as an operational asset, and as a consequence Estates have only recently revised its land valuation for the site to £275,000.”

He said that Torfaen council is proposing that affordable housing be created, which could mean the valuation changes again.

Cllr Greenland stressed the figure is not a market valuation but an accounting valuation and will not affect this year’s financial statement.

Comments (15)

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10:39am Tue 2 Oct 12

james.dyer7@ntlworld.com says...

Blame this on Dave Goulding
Blame this on Dave Goulding james.dyer7@ntlworld.com
  • Score: 0

11:13am Tue 2 Oct 12

snafu1 says...

Why not use rubble from demolition to fill in seems like a no brainer?
Why not use rubble from demolition to fill in seems like a no brainer? snafu1
  • Score: 0

11:26am Tue 2 Oct 12

spanner100 says...

snafu1..Hey come on...We are talking about a "Local Authority"..Brain Cells are needed for such an action!!.
snafu1..Hey come on...We are talking about a "Local Authority"..Brain Cells are needed for such an action!!. spanner100
  • Score: 0

11:31am Tue 2 Oct 12

BIGDICK says...

it wouldnt surprise me if this site has been delibarately devalued in favour of developers. one thing for sure is that it certainly would not cost anywhere near £675,000 smackers to fill the hole in so who's eyes are they trying to pull the wool over ?i have worked on enough sites to know that demolition rubble is used aswell as soil. i think its best if the site was put up for auction & let interested parties bid for it in its current condition. a fair price for such a prime site must be obtained for the public purse.
it wouldnt surprise me if this site has been delibarately devalued in favour of developers. one thing for sure is that it certainly would not cost anywhere near £675,000 smackers to fill the hole in so who's eyes are they trying to pull the wool over ?i have worked on enough sites to know that demolition rubble is used aswell as soil. i think its best if the site was put up for auction & let interested parties bid for it in its current condition. a fair price for such a prime site must be obtained for the public purse. BIGDICK
  • Score: 0

11:38am Tue 2 Oct 12

tking says...

And guess what,? there is also a bunker under the House of Commons, surprise, surprise, I doubt that if the baloon had gone up ordinary folk would have been informed, watching them and their families scuttling down to the bunkers could only mean a retalitary strike was imminent, why would a country that lost 27 million in the last war from the West want another one?.
And guess what,? there is also a bunker under the House of Commons, surprise, surprise, I doubt that if the baloon had gone up ordinary folk would have been informed, watching them and their families scuttling down to the bunkers could only mean a retalitary strike was imminent, why would a country that lost 27 million in the last war from the West want another one?. tking
  • Score: 0

11:49am Tue 2 Oct 12

Michael Weedall says...

BIGDICK wrote:
it wouldnt surprise me if this site has been delibarately devalued in favour of developers. one thing for sure is that it certainly would not cost anywhere near £675,000 smackers to fill the hole in so who's eyes are they trying to pull the wool over ?i have worked on enough sites to know that demolition rubble is used aswell as soil. i think its best if the site was put up for auction & let interested parties bid for it in its current condition. a fair price for such a prime site must be obtained for the public purse.
They should put it to auction as myself feel they should get the best price for the local purse. Not let some bent councillors get brown envelopes by certain ones tryin to pull the wool over peoples eyes. And if any nonsense is being tried on then the participants should be sacked and criminal charges brought and named and shamed and that is council officials and big business men. And from what I've read in the SWA and it's readers somewhere we the public of Monmouthshire and Torfaen are being treated like idiots by disrespectful MORONS.
[quote][p][bold]BIGDICK[/bold] wrote: it wouldnt surprise me if this site has been delibarately devalued in favour of developers. one thing for sure is that it certainly would not cost anywhere near £675,000 smackers to fill the hole in so who's eyes are they trying to pull the wool over ?i have worked on enough sites to know that demolition rubble is used aswell as soil. i think its best if the site was put up for auction & let interested parties bid for it in its current condition. a fair price for such a prime site must be obtained for the public purse.[/p][/quote]They should put it to auction as myself feel they should get the best price for the local purse. Not let some bent councillors get brown envelopes by certain ones tryin to pull the wool over peoples eyes. And if any nonsense is being tried on then the participants should be sacked and criminal charges brought and named and shamed and that is council officials and big business men. And from what I've read in the SWA and it's readers somewhere we the public of Monmouthshire and Torfaen are being treated like idiots by disrespectful MORONS. Michael Weedall
  • Score: 0

12:01pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Ian MacKinlay says...

This sounds like complete baloney.

Either the existence of the bunker would not adversely affect the value of the property, pure and simple, or it would actually enhance the value.

To fill it in would be irresponsible and plain stupid. A purchaser is very likely to find use for it and appreciate it as a valuable asset.

The presence of the bunker, even if unused, is not going to impede the use of the premises in any way. The most that would be needed, and by no means essential but possibly desirable for security reasons, would be for the access to it to be bricked up. Any owner in the future would always have the option of bringing it back into use. To fill it in would in fact be a wanton act of vandalism.
This sounds like complete baloney. Either the existence of the bunker would not adversely affect the value of the property, pure and simple, or it would actually enhance the value. To fill it in would be irresponsible and plain stupid. A purchaser is very likely to find use for it and appreciate it as a valuable asset. The presence of the bunker, even if unused, is not going to impede the use of the premises in any way. The most that would be needed, and by no means essential but possibly desirable for security reasons, would be for the access to it to be bricked up. Any owner in the future would always have the option of bringing it back into use. To fill it in would in fact be a wanton act of vandalism. Ian MacKinlay
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Owain Vaughan says...

There is no future use for the premises. As the building has concrete cancer it is going to be demolished. Of course Shire Hall in Newport is still going strong...
There is no future use for the premises. As the building has concrete cancer it is going to be demolished. Of course Shire Hall in Newport is still going strong... Owain Vaughan
  • Score: 0

1:22pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Lowery says...

Growing up in Cwmbran there was always talk of a bunker.....i'm just amazed there really is one!
Growing up in Cwmbran there was always talk of a bunker.....i'm just amazed there really is one! Lowery
  • Score: 0

7:55pm Tue 2 Oct 12

james.dyer7@ntlworld.com says...

michael weedall- I hope this fella was reported!! That is not a funny statement and is very serious. Police should be called as well. I have doubts that this is true.
michael weedall- I hope this fella was reported!! That is not a funny statement and is very serious. Police should be called as well. I have doubts that this is true. james.dyer7@ntlworld.com
  • Score: 0

9:17pm Tue 2 Oct 12

chris227 says...

we are talking about the public sector thousands spend to achieve what a school leaver could achieve with a pound
we are talking about the public sector thousands spend to achieve what a school leaver could achieve with a pound chris227
  • Score: 0

11:32pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Andrew303 says...

What get me is the fact that the bunker was built in the first place. "All in it together", that's unless you are a local 'VIP' of course, then you get to leave us plebs to fry!
What get me is the fact that the bunker was built in the first place. "All in it together", that's unless you are a local 'VIP' of course, then you get to leave us plebs to fry! Andrew303
  • Score: 0

7:16am Wed 3 Oct 12

arjwain says...

snafu1 wrote:
Why not use rubble from demolition to fill in seems like a no brainer?
because that makes sense. was thinking that yesterday but i thought must be some reason why they can't.
maybe they should read posts on here for ideas : )
[quote][p][bold]snafu1[/bold] wrote: Why not use rubble from demolition to fill in seems like a no brainer?[/p][/quote]because that makes sense. was thinking that yesterday but i thought must be some reason why they can't. maybe they should read posts on here for ideas : ) arjwain
  • Score: 0

12:46pm Thu 4 Oct 12

County says...

Well what gets me is a bit of rain seeping through has rendered it unsafe yet it was supposed to withstand an atomic bomb!
Well what gets me is a bit of rain seeping through has rendered it unsafe yet it was supposed to withstand an atomic bomb! County
  • Score: 0

11:59am Mon 8 Oct 12

b3talover says...

Ironically, if you nuked Cwmbran, you'd improve its value...
Ironically, if you nuked Cwmbran, you'd improve its value... b3talover
  • Score: 1

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