The Welsh Government is taking over one of Swansea’s docks. It will assume control of the Prince of Wales Dock from Associated British Ports (ABP), which owns the city’s port. ABP has given notice that it intends to close the dock from July 5 and end all navigation rights. The notice follows a harbour revision order made by Welsh ministers in May.
Housing and commercial developments have sprung up around much of the Prince of Wales Dock over the last 15 years or so, and plans to develop another four plots with houses and flats were submitted to Swansea Council last month. It was opened in the late 19th Century to handle Swansea’s growing copper, zinc, iron and tinplate industries.
A Welsh Government spokesman confirmed the harbour revision order will result in the dock’s transfer. He said: “We will also assume responsibility for its ongoing maintenance as part of the wider SA1 waterfront development.”
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An ABP spokeswoman said: “Navigational access to the dock from the rest of the port of Swansea has not been practised for a number of years and the closure is required to support the management of the port in an efficient and economic manner and to the benefit of the neighbouring community. A number of housing developments, hotels and eateries now surround the dock and it is a popular destination for visitors and residents. Community events such as the Swansea Triathlon would still be able to take place in the dock.”
The triathlon took place last month – and athletes will be back on August 7 for the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Swansea event, which includes a 1.2-mile swim at the Prince of Wales Dock. The latest planning applications for the dock are from two housing associations. They want to add a total of 180 houses and flats on four plots of land surrounding it, including a 109-home scheme along the dock’s south-east corner.
The Welsh Government has planning approval to build a non-retractable pedestrian and cycle bridge across the channel linking the dock to King’s Dock to the south. A commercial marina within the Prince of Wales Dock has been a Welsh Government aspiration, but it said in 2019 that it would cost £25 million and was not a priority at that time.
Asked for an update on the bridge scheme and the marina concept, the Welsh Government said the bridge would be incorporated into any future marina plans. It said in advance of this, it continued to investigate options to complete the pedestrian and cycle loop around the dock. It added that access to a new marina, if it came to fruition, would not be between the Prince of Wales Dock and King’s Dock but instead a newly-constructed lock and channel link.
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Source: Wales Online