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Plans to better preserve Morriston's heritage and character

Morriston's history, heritage and character could soon be better protected than ever before.

Historic Morriston map

Swansea Council has now carried out a review of the town's conservation area, which could lead to changes in future.

Laid out in the 1780s to attract and house workers in the expanding copper smelting industry of the lower Swansea valley, Morriston was the first planned industrial settlement in Wales.

Examples of listed buildings in Morriston include Philadelphia Chapel, St John's Church, the old police station on Banwell Street, the Morfydd Street canal bridge, Seion Chapel on Clase Road and Tabernacle Chapel on Woodfield Street, which is currently on a shortlist to be named the country's favourite chapel or church in a competition being run by Sacred Wales.

Libanus Chapel and the old market hall are among the town's other buildings of historic significance.

A six-week consultation period that's now started lasts until Sunday October 8, seeking people's feedback on the review and proposed changes to the conservation area's boundaries.

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Major Projects, said: "First designated in 1975, the Morriston conservation area needed to be reviewed because of changes within the conservation area since that time, economic changes affecting the high street and a greater understanding that's now available of the town centre's development over the years.

"As we look to protect Morriston's heritage and character, an improved conservation area would better inform planning decisions in future, while also helping to identify potential funding opportunities for regenerating historically significant buildings. As well as listed buildings, this could also include the recovery and preservation of traditional shops fronts in places like Woodfield Street.

"Our review includes a draft character assessment of Morriston that explains what makes the area so special and interesting, so we hope the six-week consultation period that's about to start will spark renewed interest in the town's fascinating heritage.

"All feedback received during consultation will help inform a revised Morriston conservation area document that will go to the council's planning committee for consideration in due course. If approved, this would then form the basis of a supplementary planning guidance policy that would further safeguard and celebrate Morriston's proud heritage in coming years."

The conservation area review document also includes a draft management plan aimed at better sustaining Morriston's buildings of heritage value.

Council officers will be at Morriston Market on Saturday September 2 to raise awareness of the consultation. A day-long event will also be held at Tabernacle Chapel on Thursday September 14 that will include presentations, workshops and a walking tour. This is also a chance to see inside one of the finest chapels in Wales and to hear about current plans to sustain the iconic building.

Head to www.swansea.gov.uk/morristonconservationarea to see the conservation area review document, find out about consultation events and submit feedback online.


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