On 4 November 1949, an area of 3,160 acres around Cwmbran, Pontnewydd and Croes-y-ceiliog was designated by the Minister of Town & Country Planning as the site of a “New Town” of 35,000 population.
The Cwmbran Development Corporation was established on 24 November 1949 to develop the town and provide housing, social and commercial facilities, mainly for those employed in the existing and proposed industry sited between Newport and Pontypool.
There were many challenges to overcome. How to combine the new development with the old? How to deal with obsolete buildings, abandoned claypits, a river, canal and railway lines? On the other hand, the pleasing local scenery gave scope for imaginative and attractive treatment.
In March 1950, Minoprio & Spencely and PW Macfarlane were appointed as planning consultants. Their Plan proposed seven residential areas, each with its own neighbourhood centre, linked together by a road around the hill of St. Dials and new bridges over the canal, railways and river. Housing would occupy the higher ground, while the town centre and industrial & recreational areas would be on the flat plain in the centre of the valley. Public buildings, shops and schools were also envisaged.
Cwmbran was the first New Town in “Wales & Monmouthshire.” In introducing the Plan, Chairman of the Development Corporation TH Huxley Turner hoped to create a “happy, friendly and pleasing place” which would set a standard of what an industrial town should be.”
You can read more about the the history of the New Town here: Cwmbran New Town