blank
Connect with us

City Centre ‘Biophilic Swansea’ scheme ‘a first for the UK’

Published

on

An innovative mixed-use regeneration development in the heart of Swansea city centre has been hailed as a first for the UK.

The project will be delivered by Hacer Developments, with Wales’ largest provider of affordable homes, Pobl Group, joining as its residential partner.

The pioneering scheme is the result of extensive collaborative working among a range of local organisations, including Swansea University, the Active Building Centre, Public Health Wales, and a number of local community groups.

Funding awarded through the Welsh Government Innovative Housing Programme will enable Biophilic Swansea to incorporate innovative technologies and community features, to explore a new way of inner-city housing in Wales.

David Dolman, Head of Development of Hacer, said: “There is an urgent need for housing and mixed-use developments that are sustainable in terms of their environmental impact and economic viability, as a response to the climate emergency and to ensure greater resilience and well-being for urban communities.

“Thanks to the support of Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme and the approach of the local authority, this project will incorporate innovative technologies and community features to illustrate a new way of urban living across Swansea city centre and beyond.

Advertisement

“Launching the biophilic model here requires a huge collaborative effort. But the work of our project teams, designers, stakeholders and legal teams already demonstrates that Wales can lead the way in revolutionising how we design our living and working environments.”   

Artists impression of the biophilic building (Image: Hacer Development)

The project will feature two south facing greenhouses at roof level, the largest of which will be serviced by an aquaponics system designed to produce up to 4.5 tonnes of fruits, vegetables, salads and herbs per year.

The aquaponics system will create a continuous cycle where waste produced by fish, living in onsite tanks, adds nutrients to the water which feeds the greenhouse plants. The water is then filtered and recirculated back into the system.

Biophilic Swansea’s aquaponic fish tanks and associated equipment will be developed in partnership with Swansea University’s Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) and will form part of an education and public display on the ground floor of the tower.

The vision for Biophilic Swansea includes residents running and managing the urban farm as a social enterprise. This is founded on research demonstrating that reconnecting with nature is essential to our well-being, and that there are positive community and health outcomes from growing food and living more closely with the natural world.

The project is a mixed-use development that includes affordable and shared ownership housing, as well as retail and low carbon commercial office space.  High quality inner-city apartments will be attractive to families, professionals and older people, balancing the recent trend for student housing with a more varied mix of accommodation.

Advertisement

The existing building, formerly Woolworth, will be redeveloped with new floors added above and a new build tower element to the rear. This will open into a new multi-use public realm, which will become a vibrant public and cultural space and a destination for events and street markets.  The public realm effectively links the Biophilic Swansea project with the new Council led development at 71-72 The Kingsway on the site of the former Oceana nightclub, which will provide high tech workspace.

Pobl is a not-for-profit organisation that has over 17,600 homes under its management across Wales. The Group currently has 36 developments ongoing with the construction of over 1,200 new homes in progress with many more in the pipeline.

In Swansea, Pobl’s development of 52 apartments in Orchard House has recently completed, while work continues on 33 affordable apartments as part of Phase One of the Copr Bay regeneration project. Work is also about to commence on a collaborative project with Coastal Housing to develop a new community of 144 zero carbon homes to the west of the city.

Advertisement

Andrew Vye, Managing Director Pobl Homes & Communities, commented: “Pobl has a growing reputation for delivering forward thinking housing solutions that push the boundaries. We are excited to be working with Hacer on such an innovative project that will deliver much needed high-quality homes for Swansea and support the council’s wider regeneration plans for the city centre.

Advertisement

“Hacer have shown a real passion and commitment to deliver this project and the support from the Council and Welsh Government has been critically important.”

Pobl has recently exceeded its target of creating 3,000 much needed new homes in the five years to 2021 and has recently outlined its ambitions for the new decade that includes investing in a further 10,000 new homes by 2030.

Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart said: “This development is an impressive innovative concept and another landmark development for our city.

“This demonstrates the confidence in the ongoing regeneration of Swansea from the private sector and a commitment to our regeneration, restoration and repurposing agenda. It a great example of partnership working, and I’m grateful to the Welsh Government for the funding it has provided to make this happen.

“In future more people will live, work, and enjoy spending time in our greener, more people-friendly city centre – so the lifestyle, wellbeing, quality standards and greening principles of the Biophilic Living development reflect what the council is committed to creating.”

Advertisement

(Lead image: Hacer Developments / Pobl)


Advertisement

Cricket

Council leader welcomes news Glamorgan to bring first class cricket back to Neath

Published

on

By

The Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Cllr Steve Hunt, has congratulated Neath Cricket Club on its success in attracting senior Glamorgan matches to its Gnoll Ground for the first time in more than 20 years.

On a visit the club’s ground, Cllr Hunt heard from Neath Cricket Club officials how first class facilities, pitch management and other factors led to Glamorgan staging two one day matches in Neath in August.

Advertisement

Glamorgan will play Lancashire at the Gnoll on August 17th and two days later Hampshire will be the visitors to the Neath town centre ground.

Both matches, expected to draw big crowds, will be 50-over games and both are part of the Royal London Cup competition.

Cllr Hunt said: “It means a lot to have first class cricket played once again in the centre of Neath at the Gnoll – it really puts Neath on the map.

“I want to congratulate the team at Neath Cricket Club for achieving this success. It will bring big crowds into the centre of Neath where the building of the new Neath Leisure Centre has just been constructed.”

Glamorgan usually play their matches at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, however a limited number of matches are played at other Welsh grounds.

Advertisement

Earlier this year the club announced that they would no longer play at Swansea’s St Helens ground due to the condition of the pitch and the poor operational infrastructure.

Announcing their fixtures at the beginning of the season, Glamorgan’s head of operations, Dan Cherry, said: “Regrettably, we are unable to play at St Helen’s this year, with the facilities no longer able to support the hosting of domestic cricket at the venue.”

(Lead image: Neath Port Talbot Council)

Continue Reading

Carmarthenshire

Residents encouraged to have say on Teifi Valley flooding schemes

Published

on

By

Consultation on flood prevention schemes by Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion councils in the Teifi Valley has been extended to August 31 to give more residents an opportunity to have their say.

Face-to-face events in Llandysul and Llynybydder have been added to the previous online only consultation.

Advertisement

Residents can visit the powerhouse in Llandysul on Wednesday 24 August between 10am and 1pm, or between 3pm and 6pm. There’s also an event at Llanybydder RFC on Thursday 25 August between 10am and 1pm, and also between 3pm and 6pm.

Officers from Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion County Councils and Natural Resources Wales will be in attendance to answer any queries along with a representative from the consultants appointed by both authorities.

The council’s say that all partners involved want to understand the impact that flooding has on communities, how the flooding happens and to assess different flood measures that will reduce the impact during increasingly stormy weather in the future.

People will be able to submit feedback in person by writing their comments down and putting them in the box located at the venues. This will be in addition to the comments and suggestions submitted during the online consultation process.

The councils say that feedback from the consultation and these events will feed into the next stage of work and form part of any decision making that Natural Resources Wales and Welsh Government will undertake to design and implement any flood risk reduction scheme.

Advertisement

Carmarthenshire County Council’s  Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste and Infrastructure Services Cllr Edward Thomas said: “We want as much feedback as possible from residents so that together we can look further into the options available to us to manage flood risk in these communities. The drop-in events will provide an opportunity for residents to speak to officers about the different options available and the next steps.”

Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Environmental Services and Carbon Management Keith Henson said: “We encourage the residents of Llandysul, Pont-Tyweli and Llanybydder to have their say in this consultation, either by attending the in-person events at the said locations or by visiting the online link on the council’s website. The responses from this consultation will enable us and our partners to explore what options we have to manage flood risk in the Teifi Valley.”

Lead image: Humphrey Bolton / Geograph)

Continue Reading

Arts and Entertainment

Cult brand ‘Bingo Lingo’ announces Swansea Arena show

Published

on

By

Cult bingo brand Bingo Lingo has announced it will be bringing its popular mad-cap style of bingo to Swansea Arena this October.

The unconventional bingo night, which has previously sold over a million tickets to revellers across cities including Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool and Luton, has announced a huge one-off show at Swansea’s newest multipurpose entertainment venue – Swansea Arena.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Past winners have walked away with prizes ranging from the incredible to the ridiculous; from a new car, electric scooters, to festival tickets, giant inflatables and holidays.

The team behind Bingo Lingo announced the event explaining that: “We operate in over 30 cities in the UK, but the shows in Cardiff and Swansea are some of our favourites. Every event we’ve held in Swansea has sold out and the summer series we did with The Swansea Bay Pop Up was so fun. We want to give the city a huge show and Swansea Arena was the obvious choice.”

Tickets go on sale Wednesday 10 August at 12pm.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News