NEW life could soon be breathed into a historic part of Swansea city centre.
Coastal Housing has been granted planning permission to go ahead with an £8 million redevelopment of land off Castle Lane.
The mixed-use site, which could be made up of apartments, restaurants, cafes and shops has, according to Coastal, the potential to create 110 jobs through construction and eventual employment created by the scheme.
Coastal, which is also behind the £25 million Urban Village at the top of Swansea High Street, is looking to create “affordable” housing commercial units on land to the South of Castle Lane.
The firm has secured permission for its plans to create 26 rented apartments and four duplex units overlooking the Castle in a development known as the Castle Quarter.
The ground floor will be made up of a small number of commercial units including a kiosk on the strand.
According to documents submitted to Swansea Council by Coastal, Castle Lane has lost most of its historic character.
A design and access document connected to the scheme states: “It remains now a largely forgotten and under-utilised pedestrian route, framed by derelict and abandoned houses and leftover areas of green space around the castle walls, fenced in and never used.”
Demolition of three buildings in the path of the Castle Quarter scheme is almost complete and construction work is likely to begin in spring this year, subject to further site investigations.
Coastal expects the project will be fully completed in summer, 2014.
The firm’s director of development, Gerraint Oakley, said: “We are pleased to have gained planning approval for this unique scheme which will reinvigorate this historic area while offering prestigious duplex apartments and high-quality affordable accommodation in the heart of the city.
“We are already in negotiations with high-profile retailers interested in the restaurant units in the Castle Quarter scheme, which could make it a real destination venue for local people.”
Coastal has had to consider community safety in developing its scheme and, in supporting documents to Swansea Council, admits the area is often the location of vagrancy, drink and drug taking.
The statement reads: “The sense of safety down Castle Lane and onto the Strand is a real impediment to reintroducing this corridor as an integral part of city centre life.”
Coastal is proposing enhanced CCTV coverage of the area and fully secured entrances with controlled access only available to residents or authorised people by keypad.
Entry to the private residential courtyard will also be gated and secured with recessed spaces in the scheme minimised.