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Green light for Parc Tawe revamp - with strings attached!

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: August 16, 2014

An artist's impression of how the new Parc Tawe development would look.

Comments (37)

THE redevelopment of Swansea's Parc Tawe has been given the go-ahead by councillors — despite a warning from the firm behind the project that some of the conditions being imposed on it are unacceptable.

The scheme will see the demolition of the existing covered walkways and some of the units to open up the site, the creation of new fronts for the shops and the cinema, and new public spaces and restaurants with outdoor eating areas.

The Plantasia attraction will remain, while the larger existing shops on the site will be divided into smaller units, and a drive-thru coffee shop built in the car park.

But Swansea Council has imposed a series of some 35 conditions on the development, including one — known as condition four — which would prohibit a range of goods being sold in the new units including food and drink, clothes, toiletries, and DVDs and CDs.

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The move is intended to protect existing shops in the city centre, as well as any future redevelopment of the St David's / Quadrant area — however Russell Beresford, from developers Hammerson, urged councillors at this week's planning committee not to impose the restrictions.

He said: "As a gateway to the city, Parc Tawe is in need of improvement.

"The plan is not acceptable with condition four, which would result in a loss of value."

He said Hammerson had an interest in making sure the city centre did well, and was prepared to accept other planning conditions but not condition four, adding that a revamped Parc Tawe would support some 300 full time equivalent jobs.

But councillors decided to keep the contested condition in the planning approval — and had some harsh words for Hammerson.

Ward member David Phillips sarcastically congratulated Hammerson on "getting off their backsides" and finding possible tenants for a revamped Parc Tawe but accused them of doing "sod all" for the city centre when they were responsible for it as agents.

Fellow ward member Cybil Crouch said the council had to robustly defend the interests of the city centre, and said that while the plan for Parc Tawe was "not a good design", it was unlikely Hammerson would walk away if the prohibition condition was imposed.

Castle ward member Fiona Gordon added that she though Hammerson was "bluffing" about the impact of condition four, and that the developer needed to be more creative in finding new tenants for the scheme that provided an alternative to the names already in the city.

The meeting heard that the council and Hammerson were "very far apart" on future tenants for Parc Tawe — the two sides were discussing a list of some 76 possible named retailers who would not be allowed to open on the site, and that while the developers were happy to accept a five-year ban on the brands, the council was pushing for 12 years.

Jason Evans / jason.evans@swwmedia.co.uk / @EvansTheCrime

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  • Gowercitizen  |  August 19 2014, 10:51AM

    Councillor David Phillips, perhaps the most anti-business Leader Swansea has ever had, needs to look closer to home when apportioning blame for failure to make the City Centre more attractive to shoppers and to big name stores. A destructive road layout, hugely expensive parking are just two issues for which the Council bears direct responsibility. But the main problem is the "can't do" and obstructionist attitude of too many highly paid Council officers who don't want to make executive decisions in return for their huge salaries. Instead they adopt a policy of delay and more delay until developers get frustrated enough to leave. Or they insist on wholly uncommercial conditions which deter any sensible business.

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  • mdcurran  |  August 18 2014, 9:34PM

    Sob sob... can't understand why I got minus 15 here. Perhaps the artist's impression is right, and perhaps there is a company called ONEON. Can someone enlighten me please!

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  • Dooyah  |  August 18 2014, 6:31PM

    Ah bless.

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  • rivergirl  |  August 18 2014, 5:09PM

    Clearly you have sarcasm down as a one-way process, Dooyah/Gwyddno/Kaiser/Whatever. Personally I think everyone got the joke. Getting bored now.

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  • Dooyah  |  August 18 2014, 4:34PM

    You've lost me, rivergirl, and probably others too. The waste disposal unit at Clyne is still there and has the potential to be a workable asset. The problem was that officials thought that planning permission was not needed and suffered the wrath of the Derw Fawr nimbys. Does Gwyddno state what you say?

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  • rivergirl  |  August 18 2014, 4:11PM

    Blue? Because I can see through the second-rate condescension that passes for logic from the council loyalists on here? Do me a favour sonny and come up with something more original. At least Gwyddno was creative enough to blame the **** waste disposal system at Clyne on US Republican Party ideology.

  • Dooyah  |  August 18 2014, 3:28PM

    Arrrrgh! Microsoft Windows usage has strings attached. Travel on First Cymru has strings attached. A cinema ticket purchase shows there are strings attached. @rivergirl Are you tangled up in blue? - It certainly seems that way.

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  • MikeOwen2015  |  August 18 2014, 2:14PM

    Rivergirl and Gwyddno if you both are not married argue like a married couple

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  • rivergirl  |  August 18 2014, 2:02PM

    Jeez Gwyddno, you still loitering around here hoping to have the last word. Too bad. As it happens, I don't blame Swansea Council for everything. But on the other hand I don't accept geo-political pesudo-babble as an excuse for the things they get badly wrong. Dismiss my comments as BS if you want but the shine has come off Labour in Swansea and personal sleights from the likes of you and the Dear Leader ain't going to change that soon.

  • Gwyddno  |  August 18 2014, 9:39AM

    Oh here we go, rivergirl posts twaddle blaming Swasnea Council for everything. A response is sent showing the criticism to be total bs. rivergirl replies seemingly not knowing how ludicrous and weak and hypocritical s/he is. So dramatic cuts in central government grants and a financial crisis caused by the standard greed of Tory and US Republican Party ideology have nothing to do with it eh?

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