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312 bed student tower block on The Strand in Swansea approved by city planners

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A new 10 to 12 storey tower block to accommodate 312 student bedrooms has been approved by city planners.

The new development on The Strand in the city centre by Crosslane Student Developments is on land currently used as a temporary surface car park opposite Green Dragon Lane.

Crosslane Student Developments were behind the £22m 310-bed Coppergate student development that opened in 2019 on the junction of The Kingsway and Christina Street in the city centre.

The planning report described The Strand development as a significant redevelopment of a brownfield site as well as bringing additional purpose-built student accommodation in the city which would take pressure off houses of multiple occupation in other areas.

Despite safety concerns from some members of the planning committee along with worries over potential flood risk, the proposals were passed at the planning meeting on Tuesday 6 November.

This is the latest student development to be approved in the city, with a 350 bed block on the former Valuation Office Agency site on High Street approved in August.

Work is also underway on transforming the former Sun Alliance House offices on St Helens Road into a 78-bed student scheme.

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It is believed that over 2,500 purpose built student accommodation rooms are currently being developed or planned in the city across a variety of schemes.

(Lead image: Sadler Brown Group)

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Property

New council homes at former Uplands education centre complete

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Four one-bedroom flats have been created by the council in the former Bryn House education centre in Walter Road, Uplands.

The first tenants are expected to move in, in the coming weeks.

Andrea Lewis

Andrea Lewis, the council’s joint deputy leader and cabinet member for climate change and service transformation, said tenants will be thrilled with their new homes.

She said: “The new flats in Bryn House are of a very high standard, in a great location, with parking and lovely grounds and views.

“The two ground floor flats have accessible bathrooms making them ideal for those with mobility challenges.

“Good quality, affordable homes for rent are in great demand in Swansea both for single people and for families. This year we’re investing around £7m more in new homes to keep the momentum going.

The interior of one of the new council flats at Bryn House (Image: Swansea Council)

“The council team behind the Bryn House flats have done a tremendous job on converting and repurposing a once very tired building and grounds.”

They’re among the first new homes to be built by the council for a generation in a construction programme of almost 100 new properties built for affordable rent ranging from flat conversions to three-bedroom family homes.

The package of new homes is part of a multi-million pound investment in the future of social housing in Swansea that aims to see the council build 1,000 new homes over the coming decade.

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The former Bryn House education centre on Walter Road (Image: Swansea Council)

Funding for the new homes and the upgrades for existing homes is coming from the rents paid by tenants, Welsh Government grants and HRA borrowing. None of the spending is from the council tax.

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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Carmarthenshire

Demolition of four housing blocks in Tyisha begins

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Work to demolish the Four Tys housing blocks in Tyisha, Llanelli has started, marking the next step in Carmarthenshire County Council’s plans to transform the area. 

The demolition work is set to be completed by civil engineering contractor Walters over the next 20 weeks and will enable the build of modern, mixed-use housing which the council say will better meet the needs of the community.

Improvements to existing homes and the creation of community facilities and green spaces will also form part of changes on the horizon for Tyisha. 

Cllr Linda Davies Evans, chair of the Transforming Tyisha steering group and cabinet member for housing said: “The demolition of the Four Tys marks an important step in the Transforming Tyisha project. Although this process will evoke powerful memories for many of the people who have lived and worked in Tyisha since the Four Tys were built in the 1960s, their demolition will enable us to provide the housing and facilities that the community needs.

Local residents and businesses who may be impacted by the demolition process will be contacted throughout to ensure minimum disruption.”

The council say this forms a part of the their ambitious plans to regenerate the Tyisha ward and the wider Llanelli town centre area which is undergoing massive investment.

The council is also seeking a partner to develop new housing and create a vibrant community. An early market engagement exercise is currently live which gives potential partners the opportunity to express their interest in working with the council to transform the area. “Fresh and innovative ideas” for this project can be submitted to the council until 7 December.

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The demolition of the ‘Four Tys’ forms part of the council’s Transforming Tyisha project which looks to regenerate the area through increasing community safety, developing housing and community facilities and improving the environment.

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Construction

Construction tips for pupils at Copr Bay visit

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Pupils from Swansea’s Pentrehafod Comprehensive School have visited the city’s Copr Bay phase one development to see progress on site with their own eyes.

The year ten and 11 pupils, who are ambassadors for a business class that Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd runs with the school, saw how features of the scheme including Swansea Arena and the new coastal park are coming along.

Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd leads on the construction of the £135m Copr Bay phase one project, which is being developed by Swansea Council and advised by development managers RivingtonHark.

The business class visit was the latest of a number to the site, where pupils take photos of changes, learn more about the construction industry and report back to their classmates on latest developments.

Representatives from Swansea Council, Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd and Careers Wales were also present at the visit.

Young people from Pentrehafod School with representatives from Swansea Council, Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd and Careers Wales (Image: Swansea Council)

A spokesperson for the Pentrehafod School business class said: “It was incredible to experience what it would be like to work on a building site. 

 “It was also amazing to get to see how much progress has been made since the first visit.”

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said: “The Copr Bay phase one district is for the people of Swansea, so it was a pleasure to welcome these local schoolchildren on site where they could see up-close the huge amount of progress that’s been made in recent months.

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“It’s their generation who will benefit from facilities like the arena and coastal park for many years to come, but these visits also enable an insight into the construction industry at a time when there is so much redevelopment on-going to transform our city into one of the UK’s best places to live, work, study and visit.

“Visits like these can inspire the next generation of construction professionals by showing how school subjects can equip our young people with the skills needed to progress into the industry.”

Young people from Pentrahafod School are shown around the new Arena site (Image: Swansea Council)

Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd was recently shortlisted for the Best Ongoing Relationship with a School Award at the Careers Wales Valued Partner Awards.

Susan Jones, Major Projects Social Value Manager at Buckingham, said: “It has been a pleasure working with Pentrehafod School over the past two years. Having applied for their positions, 14 pupils were selected to become Buckingham Ambassadors on Copr Bay phase one.  They have proven to be excellent ambassadors, working with myself and the site team, monitoring progress throughout the build of this iconic project.”

Construction of Copr Bay phase one will be complete later this year, with the arena, to be run by the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), opening its doors in early 2022.

Copr Bay phase one also includes new apartments, the new bridge over Oystermouth Road, new car parking and new spaces for leisure and hospitality businesses.

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The arena feature of Copr Bay phase one is being part-funded by the Swansea Bay City Deal as part of the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District project that also includes the new office development soon being constructed at 71/72 The Kingsway.

The bridge over Oystermouth Road is part-funded by the Welsh Government’s Active Travel fund.

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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