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Council asks residents to help shape the look and feel of communities

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Swansea residents are being urged to have their say on planning proposals that will help shape the look and feel of communities in the years ahead.

Swansea Council has already adopted its local development plan (LDP), a blueprint setting out how planning rules and regulations will help shape the city’s future over the next decade.

Now it is consulting on supplementary planning guidance which aims to offer practical design advice and tools to individuals and organisations like home-building companies thinking of creating or improving new developments in the area. 

Known as placemaking guidance, consultation is currently running about how to ensure that all new development gets the best results for the health and wellbeing of the people of Swansea by making the places we live greener, healthier and more accessible places to live.

There are five draft placemaking documents up for consultation, including guidance for residential development; infill and backland development; householder development; trees hedgerows and woodlands and; Gower AONB (previously titled Gower AONB Design Guide).

New housing recently constructed by the council at Colliers Way in Penlan (Image: Swansea Council)

David Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Delivery and Operations, said: “As we emerge from the pandemic the experience of living through the restrictions and issues like working from home are likely to influence the way we live for many years to come.

“That’s why, for example, the supplementary planning guidance is recommending some practical ideas about what future homes and communities could look like, based on what happened. For example, we’re suggesting all new flats should have private outdoor space or balconies so residents have access to fresh air on their doorsteps.

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“Similarly, we’d want to encourage a minimum size for homes so there’s space available for a desk so people can work from home if needs be.”

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As well as that, the guidance is also suggesting all new homes should be in low-speed 20mph areas, increasing tree cover and with easy walking distance to a park or green space.

The draft guidance recommends new developments should retain existing trees, hedges and streams as much as possible in the design of green spaces. And, in addition, new design should reflect Swansea’s unique character, particularly in places like the AONB.

Cllr Hopkins said: “This proposed guidance could help shape the way communities look and how people feel about the place where they live. We’re learning from what’s happened in the past and recent experience to offer ideas on what to plan for in the future.

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“Before any final decisions are made, we need people to take a look at the ideas and share their views.”

The consultation has been running since 14th June 2021 and a range of stakeholder groups and organisations across Swansea have already had their chance to have a say. The deadline for comments is August 13 at 5pm.

Find out more at www.swansea.gov.uk/consultationspg

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