Development could reveal treasures of past industry
CONSTRUCTION workers could start on a huge student development by the River Tawe before Christmas — and they might be digging down to china!
The developer wants to crack on with the £65-70million project, comprising accommodation for 967 students and a residential scheme of up to 300 flats on land bordered by New Cut Road and Morfa Road.
An artist's impression of the riverside development
A local historian reckoned workers could unearth some rather famous porcelain, as the site used to be the home of the renowned Cambrian Pottery company.
Bernard Morris described Cambrian Pottery, which started in 1764, as a key player in Swansea's commercial heritage.
"It put Swansea very much on the map as a producer of quality goods," he said.
Remnants of the pottery building, plus evidence of kilns and items of porcelain might be waiting to be discovered.
"There's a tremendous worldwide interest in the pottery itself," said Mr Morris.
Before work begins, developer DFWJ must sort out a list of community and transport benefits with Swansea Council.
Planning permission for the scheme — more recently the home of the Unit Superheater Engineering site — was granted a couple of weeks ago.
A spokesman for DFWJ said it was delighted to receive planning approval.
"The next stage will be to agree the Section 106 — the package of infrastructure and community benefits offered by the developer — and we hope this will be done shortly," he said.
"Once it is signed, we will be able to prepare the site for construction, which is targeted for the latter part of the year."
He added: "Estimated costs for the site are £30 million for the student scheme, and £35-40 million for the residential part of the development."
Council chiefs are keen to breathe new life into the tatty banks of the Tawe, once the heart of Swansea's industrial past.
A few weeks ago another set of plans were submitted for 91 houses and 134 apartments further along the west bank of the river at the existing Bernard Hastie & Co site.
The world famous Hafod Copperworks site will be marketed shortly for a mixed use development.
The student and residential development off New Cut Road will also include a convenience store, cafe/restauarant, two new road junctions, and a riverside walkway.