A HIGH-TECH housing estate with the feel of a village has been given the go-ahead in Swansea.
The development by social housing providers Pobl Group and Coastal Housing Group will deliver 144 highly energy-efficient homes on land in Penyrheol.
They will have roof-top solar panels, air source heat pumps, battery storage and electric vehicle charging points – and are expected to generate most of their own energy.
Speaking at a Swansea Council planning committee meeting on December 3, the authority’s urban design and conservation team leader Steve Smith said: “The hope is that this becomes a project that people visit and learn from.”
The two applicants have received £10 million of innovative housing funding from the Welsh Government towards the project. Work is expected to start next spring.
Planning committee member, Cllr Des Thomas, said there were a lot of exciting elements to the scheme but wanted to know if there were similar high-tech housing estates in Wales. “Is there any proof in the pudding that it works?” he said.
Mr Smith said Pobl Group had proved the concept with a new 16-home development in Neath.
The Penyrheol scheme on land west of Gower View Road – much of which is used for grazing – will comprise one-bed flats, two, three and four-bedroom houses, and a community centre.
There will be a mix of tenures, from social rented to low-cost ownership to open market sale.
Cllr Mary Jones said the project sounded very exciting but felt the timber which will clad the houses looked like the timber on the beach huts at Langland. She said the images also didn’t show any back gardens.
Mr Smith said the timber would be natural, self-finished wood and that the houses would have back gardens.
The application had led to objections from four nearby residents and a consultancy firm.
They raised concerns about drainage, access, traffic, and some of the houses’s proximity to a park.
The planning officer report before the committee said attenuation ponds and other measures would address drainage issues, and that the planned access – mainly via Gower View Road – was considered acceptable.
The park area will be retained, with an existing zip wire moved a short distance – and a green will be at the heart of the estate.
The officer report said the way the development radiated out from the green and community centre made it similar to “many of the organically-developed villages found throughout Wales”.
The committee approved the application unanimously, although further work will be needed to discharge drainage and affordable housing layout conditions.