Swansea residents and businesses are being encouraged to have their say on final plans for a redeveloped, greener Castle Square.
Public feedback from earlier rounds of consultation was taken into account when designers created the new look for the location that’s a focal point at the heart of the city centre.
The proposals include:
- An increase in the number of trees
- An increase in the amount of other greenery, including new lawns, ornamental and biodiverse planting – from 1,460sqm to 2,530 sqm
- The addition of two pavilion buildings for food, drink or retail businesses – one with an accessible green roof
- A new water feature for interactive play
- New giant TV screen above a bandstand-style facility
- New outdoor seating areas
The plans include new planters, steps, seating, lighting and paving. The existing leaf boat feature would be removed to another suitable Swansea location in consultation with the original artist.
The planning application’s design document states:
“Castle Square is the focal point within the city centre, an important civic place.
“There’s an opportunity to enhance it, to raise its quality and to make it more active, distinctive and vibrant in line with other investment in the city.
“A modern, functional and well maintained public space needs to be delivered which can accommodate a range of events, temporary arts and cultural experiences.”
The planning application states that the commercial elements – including restaurant units with outdoor seating – would aim to increase the location’s vitality and encourage people to stay longer.
Castle Square would continue to host public and creative events through the year. The planning application shows no net loss of useable public open space.
The design document goes on: “Any new building and enhancements must be of a high quality design, accessible and sustainable, and complementing Swansea’s central area and its heritage.”
The plans suggest that the new-look square could bring the opportunity for future nearby enhancements. These could include a more people-friendly Caer Street and improved landscaping and lighting for the castle.
The neighbouring Wind Street has already been improved as a largely pedestrian area – and at the other side of Castle Square a new public services hub, with library, is planned for the former BHS and What! store.
Businesses involved in the designs have included those that specialise in area such as architecture, civil engineering, lighting, landscaping and the natural environment.
They include architects ACME, development manager Spider Projects and structural specialists Civic Engineers.
Planning consultants Savills have been working on Castle Square on behalf of the council which is driving a £1bn regeneration of Swansea.
As part of the formal planning process for this development the public can have their say on the planning application consultation until September 5. The council would like as much public feedback as possible.
Public feedback from earlier rounds of consultation has helped develop the final plans.
ACME founding director Friedrich Ludewig said: “People have told us just how important it is that there’s green space in the city centre.
“At Castle Square we are revitalising an important civic space with terraced seating areas, new access routes, a playful water feature and biodiverse planting.
“Two new pavilions are embedded into the existing landscape with green roofs above.”