of the year to August 2016
It has been yet another busy year for the
Executive Committee, with a wide variety of issues and involvements for the
Society as well as providing our support to other like-minded groups.
After the initial public consultation on a draft
proposal, the Swansea City Area: Strategic Framework document was issued in
February 2106. In particular this relates to the redevelopment of the St
David's and the Civic Centre sites, but also sets out a vision for the
future of the City.
Following a number of approaches by the Society for further details, the
Council leadership responded thus: -
A business case to justify the
closure of the Civic Centre and identify the relocation of services
would be presented to the Council during the first quarter of this year.
A transport study (including
the Kingsway) would be available for public consultation In the first
half of 2016.
The programme (i.e. strategic
sequence of events and timescales) exists in draft but is "constantly
Although the City has appointed development
partners for the two major elements of the proposed redevelopment, the
critical information that we have repeatedly sought, has not been made
Due to our mounting concern, a further meeting
has recently been offered by the Council Leader, Cllr. Rob Stewart.
In addition to the City Area Strategy,
consultation responses on behalf of the Society have been developed and
submitted in respect of the City's draft ‘Tall Buildings Strategy, October
2015’ the final deposit ‘Local Development Plan, June 2016, the ‘Fabian Way
Innovation Corridor, December 2015’, the ‘Westway Improvement Scheme’ and
the Castle Square development proposals.
The Civic Society Executive also continues to
monitor the development of the City's built environment via the planning
process. Significant proposals are reviewed and commented upon where
appropriate and have included:
Gwalia Housing replacement
sheltered accommodation on the Vetch
Castle Cinema redevelopment
Student accommodation, Mariner
Plot A1, SA1, student
RAFA Club redevelopment,
Bush Hotel, retrospective
Listed Building consent for the demolition
Former Unigate Dairy site,
student accommodation Morfa Road
Mansion House redevelopment
The Blue Plaque Scheme with Civic Society
support has over the past year continued to recognise important aspects of
Swansea and its people. Further plaques planned for this year include
Saunders Lewis, John Hughes and Daniel James.
Regrettably the Save the Rec. campaign failed to
achieve a Village Green status at the public hearing. The City
administration has now spent a significant sum in resisting the wishes of
local residents’ applications to protect a number of open spaces.
I am pleased to report that the Clyne Valley
Community Project in conjunction with the City's Conservation team has
completed the reinstatement of the listed Roman Bridge at Clyne. This is
one of a number of listed structures and buildings which have been removed
from the ‘at risk’ register. It is hoped that others such as the Palace
Theatre and the Albert Hall can also be saved.
The Society has also joined with many other
organisations in the campaign to save the Swansea Museum and Royal
Institution from the extremely harsh budget cuts proposed by the City
administration. Their future still remains in doubt.
This year's Walkabout on 26th July was a very
informative and enjoyable tour of the Hafod and Morfa Copperworks, as well
as the Swansea Museum Collections Store at Morfa. This was provided
with the help of the Hafod/Morfa Friends Group.
The Swansea Civic Society has renewed its
membership with the reorganised Civic Trust Cymru with a view to increasing
our information base and status.
As Chair of the Executive, on behalf of the
Society I must record the sad loss of Sid Kidwell, one of our committee
members. Sid was a great friend of the Society and active in many other
areas across Swansea and will be missed by all.
Finally, I would stress that the Civic Society
only exists through the hard work and commitment of its members. It is
important that we encourage more people to join us and to get involved.
Chair to the Executive