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Site preparations earmarked for second new council home scheme in Swansea

Major site preparation works could soon pave the way for a second new council house scheme in Swansea.

Parc yr Helig

Cabinet at Swansea Council is being asked to approve the allocation of £500,000 for a site at Parc-yr-Helyg in Birchgrove that's been earmarked for twelve one-bedroom and four two-bedroom apartments.

If approved, the money would fund site improvements including drainage works, ground level works, the construction of major retaining walls and the diversion of high-level power cables. 

The work would follow on from the construction of 18 new council homes on land off Milford Way in Penderry, with that scheme due for overall completion in December.

A major Innovative Housing Programme grant from the Welsh Government will help the council offset the costs of the Milford Way scheme, which is funded by council rents and not by council tax.

Cllr Andrea Lewis, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Energy and Building Services, said: "The Milford Way pilot scheme is now nearing completion, which will help inform the costs and specification of other council house builds in Swansea in future, including the scheme planned for Parc-yr-Helyg in Birchgrove. That was always the intention. 

"Constructed to innovative, 'Passivhaus' standards, the new homes on Milford Way are extremely energy efficient, helping tenants save considerable amounts of money on their heating bills.

"Although the Welsh Government has recognised the innovation of this scheme with a major grant, we've yet to decide if we'll incorporate the pilot 'Passivhaus' standard at Parc-yr-Helyg and other new council house builds in future as we continue to explore opportunities to be even more cost-efficient.

"But regardless of whether we go with the 'Passivhaus' standard again in future, new council homes in coming years will all benefit from high standards of built-in energy efficiency measures too. This will ensure tenants have more money in their pockets, while also helping us tackle Swansea's need for more affordable housing.

"Six of the new homes at Milford Way have already been let.  The tenants' experiences of living in the homes are being evaluated and we expect the feedback to be very positive."

One of the new Milford Way tenants said: "I'm very happy with the home. It's a really quiet area and there's plenty of space and storage. The external sockets are handy and my baby is enjoying the garden. The council seems to have thought of everything."

The Welsh Government has indicated they will fund up to 58% of the Milford Way scheme's costs, as well as 100% of the innovation costs attributed to the innovation elements within the design.

Swansea Council is also working closely with the Welsh School of Architecture on a study that will determine the energy savings generated on a yearly basis at the Milford Way development.

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