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Welsh developer starts to bring new life to historic Swansea site

Work has started to breathe new life into an historic Swansea location which was previously a work base for hundreds of council staff.

Cross Hands-based Enzo’s Homes has moved construction workers onto the site of Penllergaer’s former Lliw Valley Civic Centre. They will build 80 homes, with a show home expected to be open by mid-November and the project completed in late 2020. The site was once home to renowned botanist and photography pioneer John Dillwyn Llewelyn.

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The company’s Enzo Sauro met Clive Lloyd, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for business transformation and performance, on the site to mark the completion of the site’s sale.

Cllr Lloyd said:

“We sold this site as we look to become more cost-effective than ever before as a council.

“I’m pleased that it is now in the hands of a local business; this helps keep money in the local economy.

“The scheme will bring additional housing to Penllergaer and will complement the wonderful work being done by the Penllergare Trust to reinvigorate Penllergare Valley Woods.”

Enzo Sauro said:

“This development will present great family homes in beautiful, historic surroundings; they’ll have easy access to the city centre and the M4. The interest in the development has been phenomenal and we’re excited about transforming it.”

Planning permission was given this year and the council – as local planning authority – has approved a landscape management plan from Enzo’s Homes. It details all existing trees and hedgerows, identifying which will remain and how they will be protected during construction.

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The company will work with the council and an archaeologist to treat the site’s heritage with sensitivity. The site’s Equatorial Observatory will remain in the centre of a large village green-style area at the heart of the development.

Swansea Council has sold the site to the company as it continues to review buildings and land in its ownership. Proceeds from such sales are reinvested back into capital projects in areas such as schools, highways and the city centre.

The homes being planned range from three-bedroom to five-bedroom properties. Three of the five-bedroom homes will replicate the appearance of the mansion house where John Dillwyn Llewelyn lived in the 19th Century with this family.

Dillywn Llewelyn had the observatory built on the estate as a 16th birthday present for daughter Thereza in 1851. It was from the observatory that they took one of the first photographs of the Moon.

Construction will follow the demolition of the former civic centre of which only the footings remain. Measuring about 70,000 sq ft, it opened for the former Lliw Valley Borough Council in 1982 on part of a 14.58-acre site.