AN HISTORIC Valleys village could be a step closer to achieving conservation status, if Caerphilly Council backs the campaign.

For the past six years, villagers in the former coal-mining village of Oakdale have been fighting to get conservation status and that dream could become a reality with the council's support.

A rolling programme reviewing areas within the borough that are suitable for conservation status and would benefit from such designation is underway.

If granted, the status would provide tighter control on new developments and changes of use and promote schemes to enhance the architectural heritage of the model village, which was originally built for the sole purpose of housing the miners who worked in Oakdale Colliery.

The modern houses were built between 1906 and 1913 and were revolutionary because they had bathrooms and a front and back garden.

The village had a central road linked to an innovative horseshoe design road, making it more accessible.

The area earmarked for conservation covers the village centre and includes Central Avenue, Aberconway Place, Beech Grove, Penrhiw Terrace, Penrhiw Avenue, Ashville and Syr Dafydd Avenue.

As well as grade II listed buildings, such as Oakdale Hospital and Oakdale Public House, there are several prominent unlisted buildings of local interest within the area, including the former Rhiw Syr Dafydd School, Oakdale Presbyterian Church, Ysgol Gymraeg Cwm Derwen School, the war memorial at Aberconway Place and the new coal face sculpture within the central gardens area.

A report by the council’s Planning officers found that that preservation of such an important historic and architectural heritage is paramount to the village retaining a strong local identity and maintaining its cultural links.

Councillor Allan Pritchard who, along with councillor John Evans, is behind the bid, said the status would recognise the history of the village and protect it for future generations.

“This is an opportune time to recognise the history of the village,” said Cllr Pritchard.

“The status would give the green areas and existing buildings a level of protection,” he added.

Ray Bevan, resident and chairman of Oakdale and Penmaen community partnership which looks after The Roger Lewis Woodland Garden that lies within the proposed area welcomed the proposal.

“Oakdale is a significant historical village. The status is very much deserved and necessary to preserve a little bit of our industrial heritage,” said Mr Bevan.

Planning officers are recommending the proposal be supported at a committee meeting next week. It is then due to be discussed by the full council in the new year.