Lost street names in Swansea could be reintroduced as part of multi-million pound plans to regenerate the city centre.
Historic street names from bygone centuries like Wassail Street, Orange Street, Rutland Street and Frog Street could make a return as Swansea Council puts heritage at the heart of its plans for the St David’s development site.
Once located in the area of St Mary’s Square and the former St David’s shopping centre, these lost street names date back to Victorian times and beyond.
Wassail Street and Rutland Street, formerly located adjacent to St Mary’s Church, disappeared under part of the former St David’s shopping centre when it was built in the early 1980s. Frog Street was the name given to the road immediately to the south of St Mary’s Church, which is now known as St Mary’s Square, while Orange Street once ran south of the market before disappearing under the Quadrant shopping centre development in the area now used for loading and access.
New street names recognising people who have made an outstanding contribution to Swansea will also be considered for the new development.
Outline planning consent was last week awarded for the 125,000 square metre Swansea Central development site, which is made up of the former St David’s shopping centre and the LC car park. Proposals include new shops, restaurants, a boutique cinema, a 3,500-seat digital indoor arena, a hotel of up to 13 storeys, plenty of car parking spaces and a new pedestrian bridge over Oystermouth Road.
As part of the proposals, landscaped green public spaces are also being planned to improve the settings of both St Mary’s Church and St David’s Church.
Rivington Land is managing the development for Swansea Council.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said:
“Our plans for the development site will transform the city centre’s retail, entertainment, leisure and recreational offer, create jobs for local people and benefit our existing businesses through significantly increased footfall and spending.
“But while looking to the future, we’re also very mindful of Swansea’s history, which is why heritage and architectural studies formed part of the outline planning application that’s now been approved.
“As well as the potential to introduce lost street names as part of our major redevelopment plans, the area’s churches will also become focal points as we look to celebrate our heritage by developing attractive public spaces around these architecturally significant buildings.
“We’ll soon be appointing an indoor arena operator as the leisure anchor tenant for our plans, with these two churches acting as heritage anchors for the scheme in future. Now that outline planning consent has been awarded, we’ll also be stepping-up our discussions with potential retail anchors for the scheme to make sure our plans meet the aspirations of local people and visitors to the city.”
As a nod to Swansea’s past, materials that could be used during the scheme’s construction include copper cladding, ceramic cladding and stained glass.
An opportunity to highlight the location of the former medieval West City Gate at the old junction between Whitewalls and Rutland Street is also being explored.
Detailed design work and the securing of tenants will now take place before specific plans are submitted for approval. It’s anticipated work on site will start by the early summer of 2018, with the overall development due for completion in 2022.