Former eyesore site in Bridgend town centre set for new lease of life

Nolton Street Bridgend where a new urban garden could be built
-Credit: (Image: Lewis Smith)

New plans have been put forward to develop a former eyesore location based in the town centre of Bridgend. The former Ranch chip shop and Welcome to Town pub on Nolton Street were demolished earlier this year, with plans originally put forward by developers for the creation of a new bar.

However, a set of new plans were submitted to Bridgend County Borough Council in June 2024, which could now see the area turned into a small urban park and garden on the corner of Nolton and Edward Street. Both buildings at 53 and 55 Nolton Street were left vacant in recent years after The Ranch was destroyed in a fire in 2020 and left derelict, with a caved-in roof, boarded-up windows, large holes in the exterior and piles of debris inside.

The Welcome to Town pub, which was popular in the 1970s and 80s, had also been closed for decades, causing frustration for locals and councillors who questioned why the area had fallen into such a state. If given the go-ahead, the latest set of proposals could eventually see the site transformed through the creation of the public space named Nolton Gardens, with an urban garden that will contain a variety of plants, trees, and a public sitting area.

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Plans add that the site would also contain a focal "Autumn Blaze" maple tree, which would sit at the centre of a semi-circle landscaped space with street entrances on either side. There is also space set aside for three parking spaces at the site.

The former Ranch chip shop on Nolton Street, Bridgend
The former Ranch chip shop on Nolton Street, Bridgend -Credit:WalesOnline/Rob Browne

The plans come just months after a number of potentially major changes to the Bridgend town centre area were announced, with the announcement of the multi-million development of the new Bridgend college campus set to go ahead at Cheapside Bridgend.

It also follows other proposals on the same street, with plans submitted for a new cocktail bar and ground floor pub just metres away on Nolton Street, along with other plans to relocate Hobos music venue to a former fire station on Derwen Road. For the latest Bridgend news sign up to our newsletter here.