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New location for Pontypool’s twin towns signs

A SIGN pointing the way to three European twin towns is to move 20 metres across a junction after a 10-month search.

The new location was needed after councillors ordered their council to identify a new spot for the decorative sign that has arrows pointing in three directions and which had to be relocated as part of a £9.3 million redevelopment project.

The sign is currently located at the corner of the Glantorvaen multi-storey car park in Pontypool and points to the directions of its European twin towns – Longjumeau, which south of French capital Paris; Bretten, in southern Germany, and Condeixa, in Portugal.

A mesh cladding will be added to the 1980s-built brick car park as part of the refurbishment intended to improve lighting and which is part of the UK Government backed Levelling-Up project.

As well as the revamp of the car park adjoining Torfaen Civic Centre, the borough council-led scheme will also see the nearby Hanbury Road public toilets converted to a restaurant and the derelict St James’ Church restored to host events.

When the council’s planning committee approved the revamp of the car park in April last year it also made a condition that a plan for the relocation of the sign, and another sign at the car park that points the way to local attractions including Pontypool Park, the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, and the indoor market, be submitted to the planning department for its approval.

The committee was told a plan was needed for the signs as they had been provided under a previous council project.

Henrietta Lucas, the council’s senior landscape officer, warned the committee: “The signposts which are currently located in the position of the new lift and toilet block will need to be relocated within the vicinity.”

WSP, the council’s London-based planning agents, suggested the new location in December. The sign for the twin towns will move from outside the car park entrance to the pavement on the opposite side of the access road, between it and the Civic Centre, and the other sign to the green opposite the car park.

The planning department agreed to the new locations this month, which is ten months after the car park refurbishment was approved.

Planning officer Mia McAndrew acknowledged the twin town sign would no longer be on the car park site but said: “Whilst this would be off-site, it would be on council land close to the site.”

Planners have also approved a disabled access plan for the car park, which the committee also demanded, showing “accessible routes” in and around the car park.

Ms McAndrew noted though the site is on a hill, which could make access more difficult but said, “changing the gradient of the land around the site would be beyond the scope of the refurbishment scheme”.

An extension to the car park, that people will be able to access at the ground floor from existing paths, will contain a lift and two accessible toilets. There will be six disabled car parking bays on the first floor with delineated walkways connecting to the lift. On the third floor, the extension would provide a walkway to the adjacent Tesco car park which can currently only be accessed via steps from the lower floors and Glantorvaen Road.

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New location for Pontypool’s twin towns signs

street signs
A close up of the sign, outside the Glantorvaen car park, which gives the distance to Pontypool\'s three twin towns Longjumeau, Bretten and Condeixa.