In a significant step towards progress and urban renewal, Swansea’s Planning Committee has granted approval for a dockside development set to redefine SA1’s Prince of Wales Dock. The forward-looking initiative, led by the Pobl Group, will witness the construction of 108 flats and townhouses, introducing a touch of contemporary living to this historic dockside locale.
The development, positioned at the far end of the Prince of Wales Dock, received the nod from the council’s planning committee, with an overwhelming 10 out of 11 councillors voting in favour. The lone dissenting voice came from one councillor expressing reservations about the potential reinstatement of the Tennant Canal and raising concerns regarding the outdoor space designated for each residence.
The crux of the matter revolved around an open space cutting through the 1.8-hectare site, preserving the historical path of the Tennant Canal. While apprehensions were voiced about the canal’s potential revival and its impact on the designated open space, the planning officer assured the committee that the allocated outdoor areas were in harmony with other townhouses in SA1.
This development seeks to harmoniously blend the historical with the contemporary, delicately balancing the preservation of historical significance with the embrace of modern living. Despite concerns, the council’s approval marks a pivotal moment in Swansea’s urban evolution.
During the committee meeting, concerns surfaced regarding potential noise disturbances. A planning expert representing Associated British Ports (ABP), the owners of the adjacent port, shared ABP’s non-objection to the housing development but cautioned about the swift transformation of the area under permitted development rights. The expert stressed that the currently “relatively quiet” port area could swiftly evolve into a source of noise complaints from future residents.
Addressing these concerns, the planning officer referred to planning conditions that include sound insulation measures for the properties and the construction of a modest wall with railings along the southern boundary of the development. Despite these assurances, ABP advocated for a “more substantial landscape buffer” and proposed a deferment of the decision to allow for further evaluation.
The representative of Pobl Group, acting as a planning agent, underscored the longstanding housing allocation for the site, previously part of the port. The agent assured the committee that measures for soundproofing the flats and houses would be adequate to mitigate potential noise concerns. Pobl Group also pledged £20,000 as part of a planning agreement to compensate for lost habitat space, reinforcing their commitment to responsible development.
The public did not remain silent on the matter, with objections raised concerning the number of parking spaces allotted for the development. An email from a concerned resident expressed dissatisfaction, deeming the provided parking spaces as “absurdly little.” The planning officer countered this assertion, noting that the allocation of 117 spaces for the 108 properties aligned with comparable housing schemes in SA1.
A spokesperson for Pobl Group, reflecting on the meeting’s outcome, emphasized the diverse housing offerings of the development. “Including 69 homes for social rent, alongside 39 townhouses for outright sale and shared ownership, the new development underscores Pobl Group’s commitment to providing much-needed affordable homes and essential social rented accommodation in Swansea city centre.”
As the project advances, Swansea looks forward to a transformative phase in its urban narrative, seamlessly marrying historical charm with contemporary living and laying the groundwork for a vibrant, sustainable future along the Prince of Wales Dock. The dockside development, with its mix of social housing, townhouses, and dedication to green spaces, stands as a testament to progress in the heart of the city.