HOUSES in Wales’ most polluted street have been boarded up as they await demolition in bid as part of Caerphilly council’s bid to improve air quality.

Last summer, Caerphilly council submitted a revised version of its final plan to tackle air pollution on the A472 in Hafodyrynys – linking Crumlin to Pontypool – where nitrogen dioxide levels have been recorded as the highest in the UK outside central London.

South Wales Argus: BOARDED UP: The Empty homes awaiting demolition on Hafodyrynys Road.

The proposal saw the council buy 23 properties for 50 per cent above the market rate to ensure residents do not lose out financially.


The Welsh Government pledged funding for the project, which is estimated to cost a total of £6.7 million.

Residents in the affected properties left their homes before the end of 2020, with demolition work planned to start in the coming months.

South Wales Argus: Empty homes awaiting demolition on Hafodyrynys Road.

South Wales Argus: TERRACE: The scene at Hafodyrynys Road.

“The majority of surveys have now been concluded and Caerphilly County Borough Council is currently in the process of obtaining the necessary consents and licences required to enable the properties to be demolished,” said a council spokesman. “Contractors will next be invited to tender for the work.”

Under the plan, air quality requirements will be met by 2022, more quickly than an alternative approach which relied on vehicle emissions improving without further intervention. The scheme will remove the ‘street canyon’ effect in the area, reducing pollution concentrations, and will see residents in the properties worst affected by poor air relocated.

South Wales Argus: Empty homes awaiting demolition on Hafodyrynys Road.

South Wales Argus: Empty homes awaiting demolition on Hafodyrynys Road.

Some of the Victorian terraced houses were valued at around £80,000 but would cost families about £120,000 to buy a similar house within a few miles.

Demolishing the terraced properties, Woodside Shops and Yr Adfa at Hafodyrynys Road, will allow a footpath to be realigned. The project is expected to be completed by December 2021.

South Wales Argus: SHUTTERS: All the homes on Hafodyrynys Road are now empty.

Speaking when the final plans were submitted, Lesley Griffiths, minister for environment, energy and rural affairs, said: “The updated assessment has established, with greater confidence, the preferred option is likely to achieve compliance with nitrogen dioxide limit values in the soonest time possible.

“This assessment has been supported by our independent expert review panel.”