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Awards for county borough’s finest new buildings

The stunning transformation of the Jennings Building in Porthcawl and the new welcoming home for Y Bont in Bridgend were the big winners at Bridgend County Borough Council’s twelfth annual LABC Building Excellence Awards.

Between them, the two buildings won five of the nine awards handed out by the council in a ceremony held in the Civic Offices, Bridgend.

Designed by Oriel Architects and built by Willmott Dixon, the new home for Y Bont has been created next to the South Wales Police Headquarters on Cowbridge Road. With a similar design to the HQ, yet on a much smaller scale, the new building certainly fits into its surroundings and replaced an outdated café that previously stood on the site.

The original brief was to design a building suitable for all, and Oriel Architects certainly succeeded, creating a peaceful environment that is accessible for all disabilities and users. Recognising its high quality, the council awarded the development three accolades – ‘Best public service building’, ‘Best inclusive building’, and a ‘Special planning award’.

The Jennings Building on Porthcawl waterfront was given a new lease of life last year. Originally built in 1832, and having had many uses over the years before lying derelict for more than a decade, the Grade II listed building required a sensitive restoration by Loft Co and Ellis Williams Architects. The resulting development is of an exceptional standard, making it a clear winner of two building excellence awards - ‘Best small commercial building’ and ‘Best partnership scheme’.

Also among the winners was the new Bettws Primary School, which was named as the ‘Best educational building’ while Jeff and Debbie Williams’ dream home in Porthcawl picked up the award for ‘Best individual new home’. As his professional rugby career took Jeff all around the world, he and Debbie collected photos of their favourite homes they’d either lived in or seen during a 25 year spell, and have now used those photos as inspiration to create an outstanding four bedroom home in Marlpit Lane.

The LABC Building Excellence Awards are about celebrating excellence from the drawing board to the site. The awards are organised by the council’s building control team which carries out 7,000 inspections every year, from checking the foundations of a new house to the steel structures of an industrial project. We are accountable to the public and people within the construction industry respect our impartial advice.

Councillor Richard Young, Bridgend County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities

Councillor Young added: “Building Regulations are regularly changing in order to make buildings as safe, accessible and sustainable as possible and there are likely to be major new regulations to follow soon following the catastrophic Grenfell Tower fire.

“These annual awards recognise the quality of workmanship shown by constructors to not only comply with building regulations, but to also show the highest standards of technical innovation to construct buildings that meet customer needs and look great.

“This year we have seen truly innovative design, thoughtful use of materials, and in one case, a real determination to bring back a building from the brink of destruction. All of the winners can feel extremely proud of their awards and I would like to congratulate them all on their success.”

The full list of winners in Bridgend County Borough Council’s annual LABC Building Excellence Awards is as follows:

Best extension or alteration: The extension of Pyllau House in Coytrahen by Scimitar Construction.

Best individual new home: Elegant four bedroom home ‘Bayleaves’ in Marlpit Lane, Porthcawl, owned by Jeff and Debbie Williams. Built by local builder Karl Gardner.

Best high volume new housing development: The Pentre Felin development on Maesteg Road, Tondu, by Llanmoor Homes Ltd. Over two hundred new properties have been built to a high quality on this former brownfield site.

Best public service building, Best inclusive building, and Special planning award: An outdated café has been redeveloped into a welcoming new home for Y Bont at the entrance to the Police Headquarters in Bridgend next to the memorial gardens. The contractor was Willmott Dixon and the architect was Steve Price of Oriel Architects.

Best educational building: The new Bettws Primary School, which was designed by Bridgend County Borough Council’s Built Environment team and built by Andrew Scott Ltd.

Best small commercial building and Best partnership scheme: The transformation of the Grade II listed Jennings Building on Porthcawl waterfront by Loft Co and Ellis Williams Architects.

Each of the award winners will now compete against others from across the region in the South Wales Local Authority Building Control Awards which will be held at the Vale Resort onFriday 27 April before hopefully proceeding to the national awards later in the year.

The Bridgend County Borough Council Building Excellence Awards 2018 were sponsored by SCOTT, Loft Co, LBS Builders’ Merchants, ACD Skips Ltd, GreenBuild Consult, Darkin Architects, Llanmoor Homes and Domestic Sprinklers South Wales.

For general enquiries, please contact Bridgend County Borough Council's customer contact centre:

Telephone: 01656 643643
Opening hours:

09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Thursday; 
09:00 to 16:30 Friday.

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