MOVING house is never easy, but residents at a new sheltered housing complex in Swansea are finding their feet.
The relocation came about because their former Llys Dewi Sant base in the city centre is due to be demolished as part of city centre regeneration plans.
Their home is now a £3.5m development at Swansea City’s former Vetch Field on Madoc Place.
The Pobl Group building comprises 30 flats, a courtyard area, lounge and kitchen.
Residents received compensation from Swansea Council in recognition of the move.
Joan Owen, who lived at Llys Dewi Sant for 18 years, said: “It has been stressful because I didn’t think I would move again. But we have been adequately compensated, and well supported. “It’s just a bit further from the amenities – the shops, surgery and bank – but I’m getting there.” The 95-year-old added: “What I like is being in a new building. And I didn’t think I would like open-plan living space, but I do.” And she has been made to feel welcome in Sandfields, where a Salvation Army lunch club is proving popular among some residents.
Alan Harris, 82, has taken to life in the new complex. “It’s very good, and very quiet,” he said. Asked if he would return to Llys Dewi Sant if that was possible, he said: “I’d stay here, definitely.”
There is no rush to demolish the old complex at St David’s Place, but it will be flattened as part the Swansea Central redevelopment scheme.
The first phase of Swansea Central features an indoor arena at the LC car park, and work there is already under way.
Near St David’s Place there will also be a new development comprising a multi-storey car park, commercial units and apartments.
Phase two of Swansea Central will cover an area roughly from St Mary’s Church to the current St David’s multi-storey car park. It will feature developments which could include a cinema, restaurants, retail units, nearly 150 apartments and a large office hub.
Deputy council leader Clive Lloyd, who was at the launch of the new Pobl complex at the Vetch Field, said it had allowed the authority to press on with Swansea Central. “It is something we are passionate about,” he said. “We want to see Swansea flourish, and this is all part of that plan.”
Residents buried a capsule in the courtyard garden containing memories of their old city centre home.
Andrew Vye, managing director of homes and communities at Pobl Group, thanked everyone involved in the move. “It has been quite tough, but I hope it has been worth it,” he said.
Citing the proximity of the Vetch Field and footballing loyalty of several of the residents, he said: “I know for some it is a return to their spiritual home.”