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ACME wins approval for major Swansea £500m regen scheme

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Plans by ACME for a major £500 million regeneration scheme in the centre of Swansea have been given outline planning permission

The Swansea Central scheme is earmarked for an 11ha plot on the site of the former St David’s shopping centre, straddling the north and south sides of Oystermouth Road. Earlier proposals for the area had been put on hold during the 2008 financial crash.

Backed by Swansea Council, plans for the north site include seven buildings - the tallest just seven storeys - and a maximum floorspace of 84,050m² made up of shops, offices, residential and leisure space.

The south site plans feature a hotel or residential building of up to 13-storeys in height, and a new arena of up to 40,700m². 

Friedrich Ludewig, director of ACME, said: ’It is a development that will radically reshape a part of the city which is undergoing much-needed regeneration.

’Swansea has seen impressive growth in its university landscape and in the regeneration of the High Street, and we are delighted to be able to build on this with the proposals for St David’s and Victoria Quay to bring employment, leisure and education back to the city centre and create new links from the high street to the beach. ’

A later phase of the scheme, subject to planning permission, will involve demolishing the civic centre to make way for a beach, aquarium and science centre.

Work is expected to start on the south site of the phased development in spring or summer of 2018, with a target completion date scheduled in 2022. 

Architect’s view

Swansea Central will re-establish a network of pedestrian streets and squares aligned to the historic character of the city centre. While central Swansea has been located along Swansea Bay for many centuries, the city has slowly lost its connection to the sea through the construction of railways and docks, and now Oystermouth Road forms a significant barrier. Swansea Central seeks to re-establish the links from the centre to the bay, making the beach more accessible from the high street.

Views through the site are key and the setting of the two central churches, St Mary’s and St. David’s, has been framed and enhanced. A taller building has been proposed as part of the planning of the southern site located on the current LC car park area, to create a visual marker drawing pedestrians to the sea, and announce Swansea City Centre to the passing traffic on Oystermouth Road.

The design of the new buildings will create a series of lively ground-floor frontages that draw people into and through the site. Materials will be selected for their durability and to reflect the city’s historic relationship with copper, pottery and stained glass.

145 swansea central wassail street view to the south credit acme

145 swansea central wassail street view to the south credit acme

Source: ACME

Swansea Central, Wassail Street view looking to the south

Project data

Location: Swansea, Wales
Type of project: Masterplan
Client City and Council of Swansea
Development management Rivington Land
Masterplanner and Architect ACME
Landscape Capita
Planning Consultant Savills
Structural engineer: Curtins
M&E consultant: ME Engineers
Quantity surveyor: Aecom
Principle Designer: G&T
Lighting consultant: TBC
Main contractor: Not appointed as yet
Tender date: 2017 / 2018 (2 Stage D&B) Phase 1
Start on site date Spring/summer 2018
Completion date 2022
Project value £500 million


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