Village's '4,000 new jobs bonanza'
UP to 4,000 new jobs could be created by the £1.2 billion Coed Darcy urban village development at Llandarcy, according to the man at the heart of the scheme.
Work is already progressing on building the first 200 houses at the site, and Rupert Joseland, regional director of regeneration specialists St Modwen, is sounding an upbeat note.
"There will be 3,000 to 4,000 in terms of construction jobs, on-site jobs and the local multiplier effect," he said. The urban village on the site of the former BP oil refinery will be home to around 10,000 people by the time it is finished, with 4,000 homes.
Once the first 700 homes are built the first primary school will be built, followed by a secondary school and two other primary schools.
Mr Joseland said: "There is 10 to 12 years worth of commercial development."
The scheme as a whole is not set to come to fruition until 20 to 25 years' time.
Mr Joseland said: "The whole idea is to create an integrated community or a new town. It is a new settlement.
"It is about bringing all the facilities on-site and providing links to other places.
"The idea is to reduce the amount of car transport across the site and to give pedestrians priority and encouraging cycling.
"The site does respect the fact that people have cars and car parking spaces for dwellings, but it is about encouraging people to take other forms of transport and creating a community based on a more traditional line out rather than a series of cul-de-sacs."
This month, one of the last relics of the site's industrial heritage will be demolished, the Bath House.
There are currently 91 businesses on the site employing some 1,100 people.
Mr Joseland said: "We will be increasing the business provision. "Smaller offices and workshops will be focused on people wanting small requirements."
It is thought the housing on the site will attract people looking to upgrade, with fewer first-time buyers.
But it will not be an entirely exclusive development.
Mr Joseland said: "We are very much in line with the current market and won't be doing anything different to the current house prices in the area. If this is to be a success, as we fully intend it to be, and hope it will be, then it will be an area that people desire to come to and look at.
"It is very much about creating a place where people can work, live and play and where there is education and people want to stay."
Local businesses will have the opportunity to bid for contracts in the £400 million construction of Coed Darcy.
St Modwen expect some 150 to 250 dwellings to be built per year.
Remediation of the oil pollution, to benefit the Crymlyn Bog area, is also a major part of the project and it is expected to be finished "within a region of five to seven years".
Mr Joseland said: "We are getting on with that element way ahead of other areas of residential use. It is about making the site safe."
Some of the homes on the site will offer spectacular views overlooking Swansea Bay towards Mumbles Head and others towards the Neath Valley. Mr Joseland said: "The topography is truly remarkable."