Plans to develop the site of Cardigan Hospital have been scaled back following concern that the original proposal would blight the architectural presence of the adjoining church.

Wales & West Housing (WWH) has announced that their revised plan will result in a total of 20 apartments being built as opposed to their original proposal of 30.

“After we demolished the hospital buildings, we had a lot of comments from people in the town telling us how much they enjoyed being able to see St Mary’s Church,” commented Gareth Thomas who is the regional development manager for WWH.

“As a result we’ve decided to revise our plans to take out one of the original apartment blocks. This will open the view to both the back of Priory House and the eastern window of St Mary’s Church, meaning that everyone visiting Cardigan via Pontycleifion will be able to enjoy that view at the gateway to the town.”

Ceredigion County Council approved WWH’s plans to maintain the original Priory House as a focal point of any development in June 2021.

The plans included 34 apartments for local people, new offices for Wales & West Housing, a regional base for its in-house maintenance company Cambria Maintenance Services, as well as a public café and gardens.

Demolition work began the following spring, followed by ground levelling work however the construction was delayed as a result of the economic situation affecting the cost and availability of materials and labour in the construction sector.

WWH has confirmed that archaeological work has now restarted on site, ensuring that no important remains are disturbed when building starts, and this work is due to be completed in the coming weeks.

The reduction in scale of the development will mean that extra parking will now be available for residents while views of St Mary’s Church and the Priory House will be enhanced.

“Like many house builders, we faced a number of challenges with materials and labour post-pandemic, which we didn’t foresee, and these have delayed the project longer than we would have liked,” continued Mr Thomas.

“We also reflected on the development and felt that our current design didn’t make the most of the view of the splendid eastern window of St Mary’s Church, which is next to our site.

“This is an important development for us, as well as for the town, and we’ve always wanted to do the right thing. We believe that our revised design will significantly enhance the scheme for the people who will live and work there as well as the visitors and local people who use the public areas.”

The next stage of the development will be a pre-application consultation, where the revised designs will be unveiled, and feedback from local people will be considered before the new planning application is submitted to Ceredigion County Council.

If permission is granted, construction work is expected to restart next summer and will take approximately two years to complete.