Councillors to raise concerns on offices plan promising jobs
COUNCILLORS in Swansea have voted to raise objections against a scheme promising more than 1,600 jobs on the outskirts of the city.
Concerns were raised that if the proposal for three office buildings were sited on land off Ffordd Amazon, in Jersey Marine, were to go ahead it would have an adverse effect on Swansea city centre.
They were also fears that the 1,680 jobs promised would not come to fruition.
But concerns were also raised that objecting to the scheme to create up to 20,160 square metres of office floor space, along with parking, was "cutting off their nose to spite their face."
A final planning decision will be made by Neath Port Talbot Council.
Ryan Thomas, who works in development conservation and design management at Swansea Council, warned the local authority's development management and control committee that it could have an impact on the city centre.
Mr Thomas said: "These are issues that need to be addressed and we are raising an objection on that basis."
He added there were further concerns over the need for better accessibility to the site along Fabian Way.
In 2010 Swansea Council also objected to building Swansea University's second campus on Fabian Way, near to the proposed development.
Uplands Councillor John Bayliss said he believed the outline scheme offered the opportunity to help boost Swansea city centre.
During the Civic Centre special meeting, he said: "It bewilders me that we are raising objections to possibly 1,680 jobs. I really have significant concerns we are cutting off our noses to spite our face."
He added he believed the step would "undermine an opportunity to regenerate the city centre."
"The administration is working hard to draw businesses into Swansea," Mr Bayliss said.
But Councillor Mary Jones feared the jobs would not materialised if the scheme was given the go-ahead.
She said: "I cannot agree with Councillor Bayliss — many years ago there was an area called Llansamlet which was an enterprise park which became retail.
"This is the danger if you do not fill it. There are no suits in Swansea lunch time shopping and that's the case today.
"We do not want this to happen again — we are trying to promote Swansea."
Councillor Richard Lewis said more should have been done to have kept the jobs at the Ford factory which previously occupied the site.
He added: "There were 3,200 jobs there at the Ford factory which were highly paid, but we lost it. We did not support it when it was there."
But Councillor June Burtonshaw said: "I think there will be a knock-on effect on the city centre. My concern is the effect on Fabian Way."
Members voted in favour of flagging up their concerns on the impact on the city centre and Fabian Way to Neath Port Talbot Council.