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Newtown Play & Community Gardens

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Gerddi Chwarae a Chymunedol Newtown

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Tai Calon’s Environmental Improvement Programme (EIP) is moving at a pace in Newtown, Ebbw Vale, following a long delay while the previously contaminated site (which was the original footprint for a set of demolished local authority flats) was extensively excavated and surveyed, before being made safe, contained and carefully cleared by Tai Calon.

Haire Landscape Consultants have designed the phase 1 ground reclamation and development scheme, which is currently being implemented by Alun Griffiths Contractors. The designer, Mike Haire is now working as part of the Newtown Design Team developing the phase II communal gardens and play area for the site. The design team includes Regeneration & Community Development representatives from Tai Calon, residents, and the Arts+Minds team with lead artist, Matt White. Also in attendance, from time to time, are the environmental support group, Space Saviours, the local police and other groups and individuals who have an active interest in this major shape-shifting scheme. The Design Team has a close working relationship with the formally constituted and industrious Newtown Tenants & Residents Association and meets regularly in Newtown Community Centre.

As the images below indicate, the site is a complex heavily contoured but largely linear space situated in the middle of the estate that throws up a fascinating blank canvas with many imaginative possibilities for the residents, artists and others in the design team to explore and develop.

To date, Matt White has organised a number of very successful participatory workshops (which included a very successful creative Bingo Night!) with a cross-section of residents, young and old alike, to develop imaginative ideas and consensus for the kinds of earth works, play facilities, tree and plant shrubbery and other structures that the communal area could ambitiously incorporate in the near future.

Now that the site has been fashioned to remove any hazardous material the stage is set for the integrated design team to produce an inspiring blueprint for the communal garden and play area; and given the significant creative investment and local input that has been engendered throughout the design process, we anticipate the new facility will become a key asset and amenity for residents in years to come.

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Mae Rhaglen Gwella’r Amgylchedd Tai Calon yn symud ar garlam yn Newtown, Glynebwy, ar ôl cyfnod maith o oedi tra gwnaed gwaith cloddio helaeth ar y safle llygredig blaenorol (sef ôl-troed fflatiau awdurdod lleol wedi eu dymchwel) a mesur y safle cyn iddo gael ei wneud yn ddiogel, ei amgau a’i glirio’n ofalus gan Tai Calon.

Mae Ymgynghorwyr Tirlunio Haire wedi dylunio cam cyntaf y cynllun i adfer a datblygu’r tir, sydd wrthi’n cael ei gyflawni gan Gontractwyr Alun Griffiths. Mae’r dylunydd, Mike Haire, bellach yn gweithio fel rhan o Dîm Dylunio Newtown ar ddatblygu Cam II, sef gerddi cymunedol a llain chwarae ar gyfer y safle. Mae’r tîm dylunio yn cynnwys cynrychiolwyr Adfywio a Datblygu Cymunedol o Tai Calon, preswylwyr, a’r tîm Arts+Minds gyda’i artist blaen, Matt White. Bydd y grŵp cefnogi amgylcheddol, Space Saviours, mudiad Cadwch Gymru’n Daclus, yr heddlu lleol a grwpiau ac unigolion eraill sy’n ymddiddori yn y cynllun mawr, trawsnewidiol hwn yn mynychu o bryd i’w gilydd hefyd. Mae gan y Tîm Dylunio berthynas waith glòs gyda Chymdeithas swyddogol ddiwyd Tenantiaid a Phreswylwyr Newtown hefyd, a bydd yn cyfarfod yn rheolaidd yng Nghanolfan Gymuned Newtown. Fel y dengys y delweddau isod, mae’r safle yn ofod cymhleth, llethrog, sy’n rhedeg mewn llinell syth gan mwyaf, wedi ei leoli yng nghanol y stad. Mae’n cynnig cynfas gwag hynod ddiddorol â llu o bosibiliadau y gall preswylwyr, artistiaid ac eraill yn y tîm dylunio ddefnyddio’u dychymyg i’w harchwilio a’u datblygu.

Hyd yn hyn, mae Matt White wedi trefnu nifer o weithdai cyfranogol llwyddiannus dros ben (yn cynnwys Noson Bingo greadigol lwyddiannus iawn!) gyda thrawstoriad o breswylwyr, hen ac ifanc, er mwyn datblygu syniadau llawn dychymyg a dod i gonsensws ynglŷn â’r mathau o gloddwaith, cyfleusterau chwarae, coed a llwyni, a strwythurau eraill y gallai'r ardal gymunedol eu hymgorffori'n uchelgeisiol yn y dyfodol agos.

Â’r safle wedi ei drin i gael gwared o unrhyw ddeunydd peryglus, mae’r llwyfan yn barod i’r tîm dylunio integredig gynhyrchu glasbrint ysbrydoledig ar gyfer yr ardd a'r llain chwarae cymunedol. O ystyried y buddsoddiad creadigol sylweddol a'r ymateb  lleol a ysgogwyd trwy’r holl broses ddylunio, rhagwelwn y bydd y cyfleuster newydd yn gaffaeliad ac yn amwynder allweddol i breswylwyr yn y blynyddoedd i ddod.

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Above: original site, adjacent to Tre Newydd (pictures 1 - 7, from northern to southern end). Below: site clearance and levelling, with site shored up with bespoke 'drystone-walled' Pennant Sandstone-filled gabion baskets in preparation for the communal gardens and play area Phase II design development.

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Uchod: y safle gwreiddiol, gerllaw Tre Newydd (lluniau 1 – 7, o’r pen gogleddol i’r pen deheuol). Isod: clirio a lefelu’r safle, sydd wedi ei ategu gan gewyll metel galfanedig pwrpasol yn llawn Tywodfaen Pennant i greu waliau cerrig sychion fel paratoad ar gyfer Cam II yn natblygiad y llain chwarae a’r gerddi cymunedol.

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Below: visualisation of the typography of the new contained site in preparation for the community design development.

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Isod: delweddu topograffeg y safle amgaeëdig newydd wrth baratoi ar gyfer y datblygiad dylunio cymunedol.

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