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Village green plan to celebrate historic observatory

A village green around an historic observatory building is among the plans for the former Civic Centre site in Penllergaer.

Penllergaer Civic Centre site

Enzo's Homes, a regional housebuilder based in Carmarthenshire, has now submitted their plans for the site, which also include 80 new homes.

Swansea Council sold the site to the company last year as it continues to review buildings and land in its ownership. Proceeds from sales of this kind are reinvested back into council services, helping protect services and jobs.

The homes being planned range from two-bedroom to five-bedroom properties. Two of the five-bedroom homes being proposed would replicate the appearance of the mansion house where John Dillwyn Llewelyn, a renowned botanist and photography pioneer, once lived in the 19th century with this family.

Dillywn Llewelyn had the equatorial observatory built on the estate as a 16th birthday present for his daughter, Thereza, in 1851. It was from the observatory that John and Thereza took one of the first ever photographs of the moon.

Martin Nicholls, Director of Place at Swansea Council, said: "The sale of the former Civic Centre site in Penllergaer was part of our on-going land and property review as we look to become more streamlined and cost-effective than ever before.

"As well as reinvesting the proceeds of the sale back into council services, the scheme being proposed, subject to planning permission, will also provide additional housing in the Penllergaer area of the city, while complementing the fantastic work being done by the Penllergare Trust to breathe new life into Penllergare Valley Woods.

"It's also especially pleasing that we were able to sell the site to a local business based in South West Wales, which helps keep money in the local economy."

Subject to planning permission, the construction of the new scheme will follow-on from the demolition of the former Penllergaer Civic Centre building, which measured about 70,000 square feet in size. Opened for the former Lliw Valley Borough Council in 1982, the building formed part of a 14.58-acre site.

Enzo Sauro, of Enzo's Homes, said: "We are really excited about this development, which will offer great family homes situated in beautiful and historic surroundings, with easy access to the city of Swansea and the M4 corridor. The interest in the development has been phenomenal."

Other recent council sales include the sale of an eight-acre plot of land opposite Asda in Llansamlet to Day's Motor Group. A new used car supermarket is among the options the local employer is considering for the site.

The council also sold the former Dan-y-Coed House site earlier this year to Orbis Group, a specialist education provider working in the autism spectrum disorder sector.

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