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12 August 2023
Built Environment

Building a Sustainable Future: Aberystwyth’s Community-Centric Vision

Work is underway on a community-centric Aberystwyth Plan to support the town’s sustainable future in Ceredigion.

Hughes Architects, an architectural and planning practice based in the town with a long-standing commitment to community-driven projects, has revealed the Aberystwyth Plan which is centered around creating a sustainable and inclusive future for the town and its surrounding areas, focusing on nature, literature, food-growing, and heritage preservation.

The success of the project will rely on community engagement and the aspirations of its residents and businesses.

“To achieve this, we have undertaken an extensive collaborative effort with over 25 stakeholder groups at the local, town council, county council, Senedd, and British government levels,” said Efa Lois, Architectural Assistant at Hughes Architects, which is based at Y Lanfa at the town’s marina.

“Our interactions with civil servants, politicians, and community action groups have allowed us to gain invaluable insights into the needs and desires of Aberystwyth’s diverse population.”

Efa and Doug Hughes, Principal Architect and Managing Director of Hughes Architects, are leading the Aberystwyth Plan which draws from their expertise and experience in developing community and place plans.

“This plan is not just a vision of buildings and infrastructure; it is a partnership with the people of Aberystwyth,” stated Efa. “Through extensive stakeholder collaboration and engagement, we are harnessing the collective wisdom and passion of the community to build a town that thrives in harmony with nature and heritage.”

Doug emphasised the importance of this collaborative approach:

“We firmly believe that a successful town centre is one that reflects the aspirations and desires of its residents. The Aberystwyth Plan is rooted in inclusivity, ensuring that the town’s development aligns with the community’s needs and nurtures a sense of belonging among its inhabitants.”

As the Aberystwyth Plan’s development continues, several overarching themes have emerged from the engagement process.

Key areas of focus include the introduction of green spaces within the town centre, in collaboration with the Wales Seed Hub and Tyfu Dyfi, to create a resilient ecosystem in Aberystwyth’s unique environment.

The plan also addresses the importance of enhancing active travel and public transport options, providing accessible routes to the town centre’s major employers.

It also highlights the pressing need for new affordable housing within the town. The plan emphasises the importance of safe active travel routes, access to nature, and proximity to local amenities in the design of these housing developments.

“The Aberystwyth Plan is more than just a vision; it is a journey that engages the hearts and minds of the community, the councils, the government, and all stakeholders involved,” added Efa.

More details about the plan will be available at future public events.

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