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Swansea dockside housing development approved

An image of the Pobl Group housing development given the go-ahead by Swansea's Prince of Wales Dock (Pic: Pobl Group)

A DOCKSIDE development of 108 flats and townhouses which might one day have a canal running through it has been given the go-ahead in Swansea.

The properties are to be built by SA1’s Prince of Wales Dock by registered social landlord Pobl Group.

The council’s planning committee approved a detailed planning application for the scheme, with only one councillor out of 11 – Mary Jones – opposing it.

An area of open space will bisect the 1.8-hectare site in order to safeguard the route of the former Tennant Canal. While the committee meeting heard there were no imminent plans to reinstate the missing canal link, Cllr Jones said the open space would be significantly curtailed if it was. She also voiced concerns about the amount of outdoor space allocated for each of the houses. A council planning officer said the outdoor space provided was typical of other townhouses in SA1.

The Prince of Wales Dock, Swansea (Pic: Richard Youle)

The meeting also heard from planning expert Emily Avery, representing Associated British Ports (APB), which owns the adjacent port. She said ABP did not object to the principle of housing at the site, but added that what was currently a “relatively quiet” and under-used part of the port could develop quickly under permitted development rights, in turn creating noise and potential complaints from residents.

Miss Avery said the company had raised these points with the council and that it was “surprised” they hadn’t been addressed in the report before the planning committee.

There is a planning condition relating to sound insulation measures for the properties, and a small wall with railings will be built along the southern boundary of the development. But Miss Avery said APB was keen to see a “more substantial landscape buffer”, and suggested that a decision on the application be deferred.

Planning agent Phil Baxter, on behalf of Pobl Group, said the site had been allocated for housing for a long time after formerly being part of the port, and that sound-proofing measures for the flats and houses would be adequate.

Mr Baxter added that Pobl Group would contribute £20,000 to the council as part of a planning agreement relating to lost habitat space.

Referring to the scheme, he said: “It is acceptable in all respects.”

There were some objections from the public about the number of parking spaces to be provided, which one person claimed in an email was “absurdly little”. There will be 117 spaces for the 108 properties, which the planning officer said was consistent with other housing schemes in SA1.

Speaking after the meeting, a Pobl Group spokeswoman said: “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.”