50 YEARS ON

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - RES­I­DENT ANNE EVANS WILD­MILL COM­MU­NITY LIFE CEN­TRE CHAIR­MAN ROGER MARSH

ished the land it stood on was sold to a pri­vate de­vel­oper. A ter­race of five homes was built on the land but they were never com­pleted.

Roger, Ni­cole and other res­i­dents be­lieve the project was sold on – maybe more than once – but they re­main un­fin­ished.

“It’s very dif­fi­cult legally for the coun­cil to get in­volved,” said Ni­cole.

“If a de­vel­oper’s not got money there’s not a lot you can do. Hope­fully it will be sold on again.

“There’s a huge need for so­cial hous­ing and it’s a shame you have five fam­ily houses that are va­cant.”

Ni­cole has asked for the coun­cil to board up the houses prop­erly to pre­vent the daily ac­cess by squat­ters. But the houses re­main un­touched. Brid­gend coun­cil was ap­proached for com­ment.

And yet de­spite all of Wild­mill’s short­com­ings, some res­i­dents, both old and new, have an un­de­ni­able fond­ness for the es­tate they call home.

It gives Ni­cole hope that maybe soon it will be able to shed its poor rep­u­ta­tion for good.

“I am truly find­ing peo­ple who re­ally just want to get things done,” she said.

The phys­i­cal de­sign of the homes also re­mains at­trac­tive to some.

Res­i­dent Wendy Gard­ner said: “Although peo­ple may not ap­pre­ci­ate it, Wild­mill Es­tate was de­signed with sus­tain­abil­ity prin­ci­ples at its core. Large win­dows in the main liv­ing spa­ces eg liv­ing, din­ing room and bed­rooms are south, south east­erly, south west­erly fac­ing, to en­sure max­i­mum so­lar gain. Small win­dows in non-liv­ing spa­ces eg hall, bath­room and land­ing face northerly as­pects with min­i­mum heat loss.

“Gar­dens are small and com­pact, how­ever houses are sur­rounded by large ar­eas of grassed open space, great ar­eas for chil­dren to play safely close to home.”

The pluses are not 25-year-old mum.

The full-time sup­port worker swapped a tiny, pri­vately-rented twobed home in Brackla, Brid­gend, for a three-bed V2C home in Wild­mill earlier this year. With larger rooms and cheaper rent, at £104 per week, she and her six-year-old son are a lot more com­fort­able. “I love it here, I have to be hon­est,” said the mum, who

lives in lost on one Maes-y-Felin but did not wish to be named.

“You get the odd house­hold that is still back in the Wild­mil­lian day.

“My son loves it down here be­cause there’s more chil­dren to play with. I feel safe be­cause I have an out­side se­cu­rity light. I feel com­fort­able walk­ing out of my front door at night.

“If they gave me the op­tion in a few years I would def­i­nitely con­sider buy­ing it. I think Wild­mill will al­ways have the bad name, but it’s not a bad place at all.”

A V2C spokes­woman said: “V2C are look­ing for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing 50 years of the Wild­mill Es­tate and work­ing with lo­cal res­i­dents to show­case what it’s like to live on the es­tate and how it has changed over the years.

“We have in­stalled a play pro­vi­sion for older kids be­hind the Wild­mill precinct at the re­quest of res­i­dents and con­tin­u­ously work with the com­mu­nity to im­prove the area.

“We are com­mit­ted to im­prov­ing our homes and have re­cently started our multi-million pound ex­ter­nal im­prove­ment pro­gramme. This is part of a pro-ac­tive ap­proach to work­ing to find ways to tackle is­sues of damp and con­den­sa­tion.”

Whe“

nI first came here I was de­lighted. It took the pres­sure off us fi­nan­cially, to be ab­so­lutely truth­ful The Wild­mill Com­mu­nity Life Cen­tre runs at 93% ca­pac­ity, of­fer­ing ev­ery­thing from a Fly­ing Start nurs­ery to mar­tial arts classes

PIC­TURES: PETER BOLTER

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