STALLED plans to convert a former school in a built-up area of Swansea have been revived.
A company called Eton Property Group wants to create 51 flats in the main Manselton primary school building, between Cecil Street and Manor Road, Manselton, a further eight flats and a shop in a new outbuilding, four houses at the rear of the school building, two parking areas for 62 cars, a playground and storage for 60 bikes. The main access would be from Manor Road.
Public meetings about the application submitted to Swansea Council are due to take place at Manselton and Cwmbwrla Community Centre, Elgin Street, at 2pm and 7pm on May 24.
Some residents have already raised concerns about parking, privacy and the scheme’s potential traffic impact, among other things, which Eton Property Group has sought to address. “The benefits of the proposal are demonstrated not to be outweighed by any significant demonstrable impacts,” said a consultation report on behalf of the developer.
The school, which opened in 1902 and closed 110 years later, is grade two-listed. A heritage impact assessment on Eton Property Group’s behalf said the main form of the building would be retained. “First and foremost, saving the Manselton school building is the most important thing,” it said. “Ensuring that it is given a viable and commercially sustainable use, which will ensure its regular maintenance and upkeep and many more years of life, is paramount.”
South Wales Police has been called out since the school closed following reports of intruders gaining access and climbing scaffolding. Fire alarms have also been set off. Councillors representing Manselton asked council officers to discuss better security with the building’s owners, which led to a site meeting. The authority said it gave advice about potential grant funding, with the focus on preventing further deterioration of the building.
In 2016 Eton Property Group submitted a pre-application enquiry to the council for 72 flats and two houses at the site. Planning officers said they supported the principle of residential conversion but suggested that there should be fewer flats after concerns were raised by highways colleagues. Three people living on Manor Road and Cecil Street objected to the pre-application enquiry, which wasn’t taken further, with one of them saying: “I recently moved to the area knowing full well that the old school would become residential flats but didn’t expect that amount.”