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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 November, 2004, 17:31 GMT
Backing for 29-storey city tower
This 350ft tower is planned for Swansea's maritime quarter
Opponents of a 29-storey tower block on Swansea's foreshore want the Welsh assembly government to call the application in after it was backed by councillors.

At 350ft, it would be the tallest residential building in Wales but has divided opinion in the city.

The development control committee backed the scheme by a vote of 15 to five, despite 89 letters of objection.

The decision will now go before full council on Thursday to be ratified.

It will be an iconic structure for the city
Councillor Stuart Price

Committee members heard that the development proposed by Earthquake (UK) Ltd would have an adverse impact on properties neighbouring the site at Swansea marina.

But consultants employed by the authority concluded it would be a "positive landmark" on the coast.

The main tower would be surrounded by smaller residential blocks ranging from six to 10 storeys in height.

Status

In total it would create 291 residential apartments and 2,500 square metres of commercial space.

There would also be a top-floor restaurant in the main optical shaped tower.

Earthquake UK, the company behind the 53m development, has staged exhibitions as part of a consultation process aimed at claming objectors' fears.

The company said the Ferrara Quay Tower would become a beacon for the regeneration of Swansea's waterfront.

Tower site
The tower development would be sited on land near the marina

Backing the application councillor Stuart Price said: "I would be very proud to see a building of such status - it will be an iconic structure for the city.

"I am very concerned that if we turn down this development it will act as a brick wall for other architects and developers looking at this city.

"We need to bring life back into the city centre - we need to use brown field sites."

Objectors to the scheme included marina and Mount Pleasant residents' groups, the Marriott Hotel chain, a marina based estate agent, the Gower Society and Swansea Civic Society.

Councillor Barbara Heynes tabled a motion for the application to be rejected.

Inner city landscape

She said: "I believe it will start a precedent and will lead to us having these big buildings anywhere that has spare land.

"It is out of character. It's very unsightly."

Before the meeting Swansea West MP Alan Williams had written to First Minister Rhodri Morgan urging him to call in the proposal so the Assembly could study it.

This idea has the backing of Swansea's Civic Society.

Society secretary Eirwen Harry said she was disappointed with the meeting's outcome.

"We have opposed it from its inception mainly because it's siting an inner city landscape on a seascape.

"The bay is a wonderful asset and it is the sea front that attracts people into Swansea."


SEE ALSO:
Seafront homes to tower over city
12 Mar 04 |  South West Wales
Buyers queue for dockland flats
15 May 04 |  South West Wales
City closer to waterfront dream
11 Dec 03 |  South West Wales
Waterfront 'loft living' unveiled
12 Nov 03 |  South West Wales


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