A SECTION of Cwmbran town centre could be set for redevelopment in a bid to alter its “weary and dated appearance” while improving disabled access.

Plans to level the water gardens in Monmouth Square at the Cwmbran Centre will be reviewed by Torfaen council’s planning committee.

The proposal also includes a modern café with a glazed front, the development of an events space to house farmers markets and street theatre and a green area.

Rebecca McAndrew, Torfaen council’s principal planning officer, said in the report that the water feature would be filled in and flattened as part of “an ongoing renovation programme”.

“The applicant states that the works are required as part of an ongoing renovation programme for the town centre,” she said.

“The application states that the area has a ‘weary and dated appearance’ and do not meet disability access requirements.”

According to the report, the water gardens last flowed 13 years ago and its demolition would lead to further improvements at Wales’ second largest shopping centre.

“The infilling and levelling of the site will incorporate a water proof membrane which is aimed at solving a long-term problem of water penetration to the public toilets underneath the square which are hoped to be reopened,” said Ms McAndrew.

“The proposal by improving access to the south end of the square would potentially increase for demand to use the space in the old cinema which has been vacant for many years.”

A heritage impact assessment linked to the application added that the “Monmouth Square design does not appear to have been key in the initial masterplan concept of Cwmbran”.

It added the “overall the losses of heritage value would be minor and should be set against the considerable enhancements to the physical and visual qualities of the square”.

Six objections have been submitted for the proposals – the majority from residents of the adjacent Monmouth House.

The comments against the proposal include the residents seeing the water garden as their front garden and an attractive area to look out over, far from the “disused [and] derelict eyesore’ as stated in the application”.

Other objections found there to be too many cafes within the town centre and what will happen to existing sculptures within the water gardens after renovation.

It will be discussed on Tuesday, April 17 at 4pm during the planning meeting.