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Popular garden feature at retirement housing scheme will be removed

Four people stood by a pergola
L-R: Joan Lambert, Ricky Edwards, Jan White and Cheryl Edwards at the Belle Vue garden

A KEY feature of a cherished garden shared by residents at a retirement housing scheme will be removed after falling into disrepair.

The garden at the Belle Vue retirement housing scheme in Cwmbran is well used by residents across 24 flats, and has won two Green Flag Awards and a Keep Wales Tidy award over the years.

However, despite pleas from residents to repair the pergola and planter, Bron Afon community housing – which runs the retirement scheme – said it will need to be removed after being deemed ‘unsafe.’

Residents say they have looked after the garden and spent more than £2,000 out of their own pockets on maintenance and repairs.

But now they say they cannot afford to spend any more money on the pergola and planter within the garden which is in need of further repair.

The garden at Belle Vue is in need of repair

Ricky Edwards, who lives in the area, said it was “a pity” to lose the feature, which is a popular meeting place for residents.

“We’ve spent a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of effort [on the garden], but there we are,” he said.

“I do not think we could have done any more.”

Mr Edwards has raised questions over the cost of removing the pergola as opposed to repairing it.

However Mark Doubler, head of community services at Bron Afon, said its community development team and health and safety advisor met with residents last month to inspect the pergola.

“It was agreed then that the pergola would have to be removed because it is unsafe, so we are now looking at ways to secure funding for this to happen as soon as possible,” Mr Doubler said.

“We will also make sure that the weathervane that stands at the top of the pergola is returned to the scheme.

“We know how much the garden means to the residents, so we are going to donate replacement planters for them to plant up with help from volunteers.”


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Popular garden feature at retirement housing scheme will be removed