London, GB


Swansea Central regeneration gets outline planning permission

By Luke Neve
Jun 12, '17 5:32 AM EST

Swansea Central has achieved outline planning approval to create a major new leisure, retail and residential quarter in the centre of Wales' second city. Located on the site of the former St David’s shopping centre and the city’s LC car park, the Swansea Central scheme is one of a number of major urban regeneration schemes nationally that went on hold in the financial crisis, where local councils have subsequently stepped in to kick-start the process of delivering much-needed employment and renewal of their city centres.

Swansea Central will re-establish a network of pedestrian streets and squares aligned to the historic character of the city centre. While central Swansea has been located along Swansea Bay for many centuries, the city has slowly lost its connection to the sea through the construction of railways and docks, and now Oystermouth Road forms a significant barrier. Swansea Central seeks to re-establish the links from the centre to the bay, making the beach more accessible from the high street.

Views through the site are key and the setting of the two central churches, St Mary’s and St. David’s, has been framed and enhanced. A taller building has been proposed as part of the planning of the southern site located on the current LC car park area, to create a visual marker drawing pedestrians to the sea, and announce Swansea City Centre to the passing traffic on Oystermouth Road.

On the north side of Oystermouth Road, 85,000 square metres of floor space is proposed in seven buildings, including retail, leisure, education, residential and restaurant uses, as well as a multi-storey car park. On the south side of the road, 40,000 square metres across three buildings will provide a new indoor arena, a hotel, restaurants, and an undercroft car park. A major new pedestrian bridge will link the north and south parts of the site across Oystermouth road, providing residents and visitors with much better access to the city’s coastline. The design of the new buildings will create a series of lively ground-floor frontages that draw people into and through the site. Materials will be selected for their durability and to reflect the city’s historic relationship with copper, pottery and stained glass.

Friedrich Ludewig, Director at ACME, said: “We’re delighted that Swansea Central has received outline planning permission. It is a development that will radically reshape a part of the city which is undergoing much-needed regeneration. Swansea has seen impressive growth in its university landscape and in the regeneration of the High Street, and we are delighted to be able to build on this with the proposals for St David’s and Victoria Quay to bring employment, leisure and education back to the city centre and create new links from the high street to the beach. “

Martin Nicholls, Director of Place at Swansea Council, said: “The approval of outline planning consent for this scheme is a major step forward for the regeneration of Swansea city centre.

“This approval means we can now especially push on with our plans for the site that’s south of Oystermouth Road, which will form the first phase of the overall development. “Working in partnership with Rivington Land and their design team, detailed design work will now take place on the planned indoor arena, hotel, multi-storey car park and pedestrian bridge. We also soon hope to appoint an indoor arena operator as the southern development site’s anchor tenant, who can work with us on the design and specification of the attraction.

“Once specific plans are in place, planning consent will again be needed, but we’re looking to start work on the southern site of the overall development by the late spring or early summer of 2018.”

Other imminent work will include a detailed travel plan and the appointment of a hotel operator.

Swansea Central will be developed in a phased programme, with a target of completion by 2022.