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Sheltered housing move key to city centre's transformation

Development of a new retail circuit in Swansea city centre including shops, restaurants and cafés could be set to take another step forward.

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Swansea Council's Planning Committee will soon determine a planning application that could see residents of the Llys Dewi Sant sheltered housing complex at St David's moving to new accommodation on the former Vetch Field site.

The council is currently working on a flood impact assessment that will form part of the planning application.

If the plans are approved, the Llys Dewi Sant building will be demolished, paving the way for the council's major regeneration plans.

It's proposed the new, replacement accommodation be constructed on land bordering Madoc Place and William Street in the Sandfields.

The £3.9m property acquisition, demolition and new build scheme, which has the backing of Llys Dewi Sant residents and Gwalia, the building's owners, would be funded by £1.6m private finance from Gwalia, Swansea Council and the Welsh Government through the Vibrant and Viable Places Swansea City Centre regeneration programme.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: "We've already appointed Rivington Land to manage the regeneration of the St David's site, whose winning ideas include a new retail street stretching from Whitewalls to Oystermouth Road, a café and restaurant quarter, a state-of-the-art cinema and a major new indoor arena. These plans will open up hundreds of jobs, inject millions of pounds into the Swansea economy and give the people of Swansea the kind of thriving, top quality city centre they deserve.

"The acquisition and demolition of the Llys Dewi Sant building is essential if these hugely exciting plans are to progress because without being demolished, the building would block visibility from Oxford Street through to Oystermouth Road. This link is extremely important both in terms of urban design and in terms of attracting retailers and shoppers in future. The incorporation of Llys Dewi Sant within the new scheme would also be difficult because its location and architectural style isn't compatible with a retail and leisure destination.

"This is why we've worked so closely alongside Gwalia and the Llys Dewi Sant residents to arrive at a solution everyone is happy with. Subject to planning permission, this scheme will give the residents new, modern accommodation where they can spend the rest of their lives, while opening up a development site that's crucial to Swansea city centre's transformation."

The St David's development site is made up of the former St David's shopping centre, the St David's multi-storey car park and the LC car park.

Preliminary discussions have now started with retailers, restaurants, cinema operators and indoor arena operators who could make up the St David's scheme, with detailed design work also well under way.

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