THE BEGINNING of demolition works on Wales’ most polluted street was a “symbolic day” in combatting air pollution, said Caerphilly’s council leader.

On Thursday, demolition works on 23 homes on Woodside Terrace in Hafodyrynys began.

The works – which are expected to last 14 weeks – were previously due to take place in May, but this was later pushed back to July, and has now been delayed again until the autumn.

But in September, Caerphilly County Borough Council awarded a demolition contract to Walters Uk Ltd, and work to disconnect the gas supply to the houses took place from September 13.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Cllr Philippa Marsden, leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council. “It means we’ll start to see an improvement in the air quality in the area, and that impacts the residents that are remaining and it means that we can hit our target in terms of delivering the air quality improvements in the area.


“We are taking away an area that was causing high levels of concerns in terms of high levels of nitrogen dioxide.

“This is a symbolic day in terms of we are improving this section of the road in our county borough.”

The compulsory purchase of the 20 terraced houses, two semi-detached homes and one detached property was agreed last year at 150 per cent their market value.

The road was labelled the most polluted street in Wales after recording the highest nitrogen dioxide levels in the UK outside central London.

The demolition works will remove the ‘street canyon’ effect in the area, opening out the valley and reducing pollution concentrations.

Free Press Series: Demolition begins on the first house in Woodside Terrace. Picture: Mike Williams.Demolition begins on the first house in Woodside Terrace. Picture: Mike Williams.

“We have had to follow a long and complex process to get here, but throughout this we have always put the put the interests of the residents of Hafodyrynys first,” said Cllr Marsden.

“We explored a number of options, but demolition of these properties will allow us to achieve air quality compliance in the shortest possible timeframe.

“I would like to thank the community for their patience, co-operation and feedback throughout the process in helping us reach this conclusion.

“I would like to also thank Welsh Government for their support to in helping us arrive at this positive conclusion for Hafodyrynys.”