The local MP suggests that a museum of modern art/sport could be built on the site. Leaving aside the fact that the site is privately owned and the issue of where will the money come from to build a museum do you think there is any merit in the idea?
As we move towards a city region of which Ponty will be a part does it make sense that some of the institutions that would normally be found in Cardiff be built in places like Ponty? After all it's probably easier to get to Ponty from Central Cardiff than it is to St Fagans.
And what next for Ponty? The riverside is such a wasted asset - could this be a blessing in disguise? Lets face it the plans for the Taff Vale site were incredibly unambitious. Ponty deserves better I think.
There are ongoing improvements in Taff Street and the renovation of the lido in Ynysangharad Park looks like it has secured funding. But is this enough? Quite a lot of the town centre looks rundown even compared to places like Caerphilly.
The redevelopment of the precinct has been a complete debacle. Plans for redevelopment go back to the late 1980s, and at various times have involved deliverable and ambitious schemes that have included far better and far more shops than the newly shelved scheme, and have even involved the likes of Debenhams. The scare-mongering campaigning of a vocal minority managed to get the council and a lot of people to be against the proposals from the 1990s and early 2000s which would have seen a small, almost derelict part of Ynysyngharad Park converted to a two storey car park. This held up development so long that when a scheme that was all on the town side finally came through it was 2007... and then we had the crash.. and then we had the poxy Poundland scheme... and now the town has nothing.
The old Scarborough "Fountain Walk" scheme from the early 2000s involved a supermarket (Sainsbury's), and about 200k square feet of space on a site covering the precinct and a large part of the existing Gas Lane car park. It would have seen stores like Topshop, a full size River Island and New Look, and perhaps even a Primark (along with cheaper shops). Instead, following delays the town cannot even get a Poundland!
Re: the proposals for a Museum. Its a typical left-wing scheme: more public sector largesse rather than private sector development. It reminds me rather a lot of a group of people who run a website called Pontytown.co.uk. Their plans called for two leisure centres in the town centre, a museum of industrial heritage and an environmental centre all funded by the public purse of course. What they didn't want were "multinational shops" or "greedy corporates"... argh!
What can be done now? I don't know. I despair for my hometown, slowly dying a death. The proposed shopping centre at Talbot Green could be the final nail in the coffin. How much longer will M&S stay in the town?!