Children’s Home Plan is Scrapped

Controversial plans to build a new children’s home for vulnerable youngsters in Swansea have been scrapped at the last minute. Proposals had been put forward for the new centre on land at Milford Way, Blaenymaes. It would have replaced West Cross House – which is being demolished to make way for new Welsh medium school Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg (YGG) Llwynderw.

But the scheme was pulled at the last minute – before councillors had a chance to consider the application. It is the second time that high profile plans for a council building have been sent back to the drawing board this year.

A planning application for YGG Llwynderw was withdrawn just minutes before a public meeting was due to take place in May. Planners decided to amend that proposal following complaints about traffic at the West Cross site.

Now another plan linked to the scheme is being completely revamped.The original plan for the children’s home in Blaenymaes is now likely to be scrapped and a fresh application will have to be submitted.

Labour group leader David Phillips has criticised the authority for pulling the scheme at the last minute. He is now demanding the council makes sure its applications are right first time.

“I am shocked this application has been withdrawn at such short notice,” he added.

“It seems remarkably similar to the debacle that surrounded Llwynderw school, which is obviously so closely linked to this application. I cannot prejudge the new application, not having seen it. However, I would have hoped the council could have made sure they got it right first time.”

But Councillor Wendy Fitzgerald, cabinet member for social services, insisted it was important for the council to get the plans right.

“Young people in care are among the most vulnerable in our community,” she said. “The kind of children we are talking about here have suffered loss, trauma and disruption in their lives. Ensuring they have the best possible facilities in the right area is of paramount importance. It was also important to us to consult local people as part of the process of creating this facility.”