Plans for new council house development at Parc-yr-Helyg in Birchgrove

Swansea Labour set to give green light to second stage of council house construction scheme

Swansea Labour Party is behind an initiative to build the next phase of council houses in the city.

The Labour-controlled cabinet will consider a report to approve the allocation of £500,000 for a site at Parc-yr-Helyg in Birchgrove in preparation for the construction of 12 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom apartments.

The investment would fund site improvements including drainage works, ground level works, the construction of major retaining walls and the diversion of high-level power cables.

This would be the next stage in Swansea Labour’s commitment to providing council homes and will follow on from the construction of 18 new council homes on land off Colliers Way (formerly Milford Way) in Penderry. That scheme is due to be completed in December.

A Welsh Government grant will help the council offset the costs of the Colliers Way scheme, which is funded by council rents and not by council tax.

Cllr Andrea Lewis, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Energy and Building Services, said: “The Colliers Way pilot scheme is now nearing completion, which will help inform the costs and specification of other council house builds in Swansea in future, including the scheme planned for Parc-yr-Helyg in Birchgrove. That was always the intention.

“Constructed to innovative, ‘Passivhaus’ standards, the new homes on Colliers Way are extremely energy efficient, helping tenants save considerable amounts of money on their heating bills.

“Although the Welsh Government has recognised the innovation of this scheme with a major grant, we’ve yet to decide if we’ll incorporate the pilot ‘Passivhaus’ standard at Parc-yr-Helyg and other new council house builds in future as we continue to explore opportunities to be even more cost-efficient.

“But regardless of whether we go with the ‘Passivhaus’ standard again in future, new council homes in coming years will all benefit from high standards of built-in energy efficiency measures too. This will ensure tenants have more money in their pockets, while also helping us tackle Swansea’s need for more affordable housing.

“Six of the new homes at Colliers Way have already been let. The tenants’ experiences of living in the homes are being evaluated and we expect the feedback to be very positive.”

The Welsh Government has indicated they will fund up to 58% of the Colliers Way scheme’s costs, as well as 100% of the innovation costs attributed to the innovation elements within the design.

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