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Shipping container development planned for Swansea city centre

13 Apr 2023 3 minute read
Image showing how the shipping containers and flats would look at the corner of The Strand and Kings Lane, Swansea, courtesy of Coastal Housing

Richard Youle, local democracy reporter

A street where goods were once unloaded from the River Tawe could feature commercial units made from shipping containers and a block of flats alongside.

Housing association Coastal Housing Group wants to create a two-storey shipping container development on the corner of The Strand and Kings Lane. There would be affordable one and two-bed apartments in a six storey-block to the side along with ground floor commercial space.

The site forms part of Coastal Housing’s Urban Village development between The Strand and High Street. There is a multi-storey car park beside the development site which would remain in place.

Andrew Parry Jones, Coastal Housing regeneration manager, said of the proposal: “This would be the first in a series of exciting new projects Coastal is looking to deliver in the High Street and Strand area of the city in the next few years.”

The Urban Village comprises office space, flats, retail, and food and drink outlets. It was the first large-scale regeneration project on High Street for many years and transformed the empty Kings Lane warehouse. It has a central courtyard and tenants including Basekamp, a cafe, and The Jam Jar, a bar.

Positive impact

The Jam Jar owner, Gary Lulham, welcomed the shipper container and apartment plans.

He said: “Having been a resident of Swansea for nearly 20 years and a tenant of the High Street for nearly two years, the positive impact that Coastal Housing has had on the area is clear to see and the announcement of this latest development is an exciting step on the continued path to the creation of more economic growth for Swansea city centre.”

What the corner of The Strand and Kings Lane, Swansea, looks like now. Photo by Richard Youle

The new development would result in the loss of some existing green space but Coastal Housing would, according to the plans, plant trees along the site embankment and create new landscaped areas within the courtyard and central commercial area. Asbri Planning is undertaking a pre-planning application on behalf of Coastal Housing, and people can give feedback by April 27.

Many years ago the River Tawe flowed alongside The Strand before it was diverted to its current position.

In February, Swansea Council announced plans to create retail units in the Victorian arches further along The Strand where it heads towards New Cut Road. An elevator from The Strand to High Street would also be built and work carried out to improve the look and feel of the arches and tunnels.

Meanwhile, Coastal Housing, along with Swansea Bay University Health Board, has proposed a new wellness centre opposite the Urban Village between High Street and Orchard Street. It has also acquired the adjacent The Kings Arms Tavern, which had been closed for a year.

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