South Wales regeneration: From Oil Refinery to Sustainable Community
A large-scale regeneration project in Coed Darcy turns old oil refinery land into sustainable community housing and business development
A new ‘urban village’ is being created in South Wales with the help of the Prince’s Foundation. Covering more than 1000 acres, Coed Darcy, which means Darcy’s Woodland, is one of the most significant regeneration projects currently underway in Wales.
In 1999, the Welsh Development Agency invited the Prince’s Foundation to advise on this large-scale residential and business development at the former BP Llandarcy Oil Refinery site between Neath and Swansea. An ‘Enquiry by Design’ workshop in July 2000 led to the creation of a masterplan and town code by design consultants Alan Baxter & Associates.
Set to become a thriving sustainable community of 4,000 traditionally-styled Welsh homes, Coed Darcy will provide more than 10,000 residents with retail, leisure and community facilities, including four schools, plus acres of green open space with breathtaking views over the Gower Peninsula and Swansea Bay.
Coed Darcy, which already has a well-established business community of more than 100 tenants, will also provide 500,000 square feet of new commercial space, helping to create more than 4,000 new job opportunities locally. The overall scheme will have an economic impact of over £1 billion.
Ever since Britain’s first oil refinery opened here in 1921, it has been a major industrial landmark and key employer, with a 2000-strong workforce at its peak during the 1970s. But in the mid-1980s, BP stopped processing crude oil and closed half the refinery. By 2008 all remaining operations ceased and the new site owner, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist St. Modwen, started to demolish, remove and recycle the remaining buildings to pave the way for redevelopment.
Extensive remediation of the site has been carried out with safe and technically-advanced methods, including biodegradation techniques where microorganisms are used to clean up the soil. Now the land has been made safe, it is being transformed into a development of well-crafted buildings and landscaping to encourage a bio-diverse, sustainable environment.
This community will help contribute to the wider regeneration of a large part of South Wales over the next 20-25 years.
Visit the Coed Darcy website for more details
When this project began the Prince's Foundation was known as The Prince's Foundation for Building Community