May 18, 2021

Newyddion Cymru Ar-Lein : Wales News Online

Newyddion Lleol a Chenedlaethol Cymru – Local and National News for Wales

IT is one of Swansea’s sorriest-looking buildings, but hopes of converting it into flats are on hold for now.

Councillors have decided to visit the former Swansea Boys’ Club before determining a planning application that aims to create 23 flats there.

The fire-damaged building, high up on the edge of Mount Pleasant and Mayhill, overlooks much of the city and dates from 1922.

At one point Swansea Boys’ Club was a thriving football club in Swansea and West Wales, with some 500 members. But not any more.

The Berwick Terrace building has been vacant for years and was put up for sale by the council in 2015, notwithstanding plans at one stage to turn it into a community centre hosting sports and social events.

Targeted by vandals, despite security fencing, the building suffered significant arson damage late last year.

Cardiff-based development company Lifestyle Dimensions Ltd is behind the application to convert it into flats, and Swansea planning officers recommended the scheme for approval when it came before the planning committee on April 13.

A planning officer told the committee: “The building is in desperate need of redevelopment.”

He said all the one-bedroom flats met the relevant minimum size guide, although one of them – on the ground floor – would have limited natural light.

The developer has proposed creating 20 parking spaces, seven less than the council’s parking standards for a scheme of this size, although the location was described as accessible.

The plan is also for on-street barriers on Berwick Terrace, near the junction of Baptist Well Place, to be removed in order to improve access.

Addressing the committee, ward councillor David Phillips urged members to visit the “unique” site before making a decision. In his view, the location deserved something better.

Cllr Des Thomas said he had misgivings as he could recall Berwick Terrace being used as a rat-run before traffic was restricted, and backed the site visit suggestion.

Referring to the on-street barriers, Cllr Cyril Anderson said: “That blockade was put in place because of the anti-social behaviour and the car stealing days.”

Cllr June Burtonshaw voiced concerns about the flats themselves, including the natural light element, but withdrew her questions to planning officers on the proviso that a site visit would take place.

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