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Rheola Estate’s tourism revamp

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 09, 2012

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A TOURISM and leisure development costing millions of pounds will help breathe new life into the Neath Valley.

Log cabins, housing and a leisure centre complete with restaurant and shops are all in the plans for historic Rheola Estate between Resolven and Glynneath.

It will also see the former TRW factory in Resolven, which closed last year with the loss of 200 jobs, become home to the weekly Rheola market as it will have to move to make way for the new developments.

The proposals are part of a masterplan drawn up between Neath Port Talbot Council and the estate’s owner following consultation with the Welsh Assembly and Cadw.

Councillors have agreed with the masterplan in principle and the proposals will now be the basis of a planning application expected in the next few weeks.

A specific planning application relating to the new use of the TRW factory has already gone in.

“The Rheola Estate is on the outskirts of Resolven in an area that is included in the council’s plans for the regeneration of the Neath Valley,” said a council spokeswoman. “With the Waterfall Country nearby, the area is well visited by tourists and the development fits into the council’s tourism and leisure strategy.”

The 95-acre site includes the original Rheola house designed by Regency architect John Nash in 1809. Experts place the estate as one of the top five most important John Nash projects in Britain.

On the cards are a residential development on part of the estate to raise some of the funding needed to take the leisure and tourism plan forward.

Holiday log cabins would be built, along with a leisure complex that would include a swimming pool, spa, gym, restaurant, bar and shop, for use by tourists staying at Rheola and for the wider public.

Council environment director John Flower said: “There has been interest shown by industrialists to develop the site.

“But the council sees the future regeneration of the estate and this part of the valley focusing on tourism and leisure.

“This is a beautiful part of the Neath Valley and this masterplan will act as a catalyst to bring forward the council’s aspirations.”


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  • welsh99  |  February 15 2012, 6:36PM

    This will be an excellent development opportunity for the local area. There is a high rate of unemployment in all surrounding villages, especially after the closure of the TRW site. It is highly unlikely that another manufacturer will invest in the TRW site due to its age and location! Surely a market attracting individuals from all areas of Wales would be a good way to promote the Resolven village and also promote other key local tourist areas. The Master Plan states the possibility of up to 200 new jobs which should also be welcomed by all; this is not including the local skilled trade's men who could have the opportunity to tender for contracts. It amazes me how this can be seen as a negative opportunity for the local community which is clearly struggling. South Wales has very few popular tourist attractions and this idea for the Rehola Estate would be a great boost to tourism in the Neath Valley.

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  • fred65  |  February 09 2012, 6:16PM

    Any thing is better than nothing and we under estimate the beauty of the Neath Valley and what it could offer tourists if marketed properly! You can grantee the Pain will have is own camera crew..

  • huwwuh  |  February 09 2012, 6:13PM

    This is the ideal place for cywch. Out of sight, out of mind.

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  • bobbyneath  |  February 09 2012, 6:02PM

    Taking over the old TRW factory for another market selling tat, who gets the stall rent ?, probably Mr Rees. Better if the factory was put up for rent and try and create some jobs for the people of the village.

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  • flepwales  |  February 09 2012, 5:13PM

    williamwaun wanting the council to do something (leisure wise) for their town, a town that doesnt even have a cinema I would call pro active, the suggested version would probably see money wasted on foreign contractors putting up buildings on land that probably wouldn`t get planning permission on their own merit for personal gain by the landowner. I just dont see what the people of Neath are going to get out of it.

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  • williamwaun  |  February 09 2012, 4:32PM

    Moan moan moan, that's all people do, and someone to blame. Great news can't wait to see it all started, new jobs to the area, just what we need. Hip Hip Hooray

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  • flepwales  |  February 09 2012, 4:19PM

    I think the council should focus on putting some leisure facilities in Neath for the local population before what will inevitably be a secret handshake to make money for a particular person. How about a cinema or a bowling alley, there`s nothing in Neath unless you want to spend your evening swimming or drinking, some "stocks" in the town centre to put the ocassional councillor in would be more entertainment than what we have now.

  • saddned  |  February 09 2012, 3:01PM

    "The proposals are part of a masterplan drawn up between Neath Port Talbot Council and the estate's owner" Probably the other way round. So who will be paying for this Mr Rees or NPTCBC?? "On the cards are a residential development on part of the estate to raise some of the funding needed to take the leisure and tourism plan forward." Why not all? Lets be honest your not going to get a load of tourists staying in Resolven, there is nothing in the area. In a few years the cabins will be flattened along with the leisure center but the houses will stay. Plus the landower would not have paid for either to be built probably An easy way to get planning permission on your land by planning to build a lesuire complex which the taxpayer may end up funding but I feel there will only be one winner here wink wink...Mr Rees.

    |   -1