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High School

What the housing estate set to be built on a Swansea school playing fields will look like

Fields at a secondary school in Swansea will finally make way for 101 new houses and flats, councilors have decided. They will be built on land at Olchfa School, Sketty, which council chiefs deemed surplus six years ago, subject to the provision of a 3G sports pitch from the proceeds of any sale.

The three-hectare estate will include 35 one, two and three-bedroom affordable units. The rest will be open market homes – the majority three and four-bedroom.

Swansea’s planning committee approved the application by developer Westacres Ltd by seven votes to two after hearing from planning officers, objectors, a planning agent and Sketty councilors Mike Day and Cheryl Philpott. The two ward councilors raised highway safety and other concerns. You can read more stories about Swansea here.

READ MORE: Man in hospital after alleged assault outside secondary school and leisure center in Gorseinon

One of the objectors said there were better access points to the planned estate than the one earmarked off Aneurin Way, and that there wouldn’t be enough space for school and commercial buses when they had to share a nearby lay-by, which they didn ‘t do currently. You can get more Swansea news and other story updates by subscribing to our newsletters here.

The other objector said he was concerned about the loss of green space, the effect of the planned estate on water run-off and drainage, and the “permanent impact” of many more cars on roads in the vicinity. He also said Olchfa School was the most over-subscribed school in Swansea. Read here about the hardest secondary schools to get into into Swansea this year.

The fields at Olchfa School, Sketty Park, Swansea, where 101 houses and flats will be built

Another image of how the new Westacres development will look

Planning agent Phil Baxter, on behalf of Westacres Ltd, said there had been “detailed and very constructive” pre-application discussions with officers, and that the scheme was high quality and complied with planning policies. The estate will include new trees and other landscaping, plus a drainage attenuation area.

The report before the committee said there were 71 objections to the application. It also included comments from a crime prevention officer, who said a proposed cycle and footpath cutting through a corner of the site should not be included because similarly-designed ones had caused issues with anti-social behavior and crime.

An officer said the planning department was satisfied with the cycle and footpath because there would only be one access and exit point otherwise. Planning officers recommended the application for approval, subject to conditions.

Councilors asked questions about access to the site and the impact on school and commercial buses sharing the lay-by. A highways officer said the design of the Aneurin Way entrance had been amended and improved, and that he was content the bus lay-by would have sufficient space as a result of being extended.

Westacres Ltd must sign an agreement with the council to provide the 35 affordable units and also contribute £ 844,028 to the authority’s education department. A chunk of playing field land has been retained by Olchfa School.

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