South West Wales

Swansea's Vetch plans fail to find builder

Plans to develop Swansea City's former Vetch football ground have failed to interest developers.

The council said there had been almost no response from builders to its plan to sell the site for housing and a new community centre.

The cabinet is being asked to revisit the masterplan for the 5.3 acre city centre plot.

Some £700,000 is to be spent flattening the stadium, which has been derelict since staging its last game in 2005.

Swansea City moved from the Vetch to their new ground, the Liberty Stadium.

The Vetch site was initially put on the market a year ago.

But of the 30 parties to express an initial interest only one submitted a tender but said the council's proposals for a community centre were unaffordable without grant aid.

The council's cabinet is now being asked to revisit its initial masterplan with officers blaming "turbulent economic conditions" for the problem.

They say most major house builders had stopped virtually all land acquisition in the last 18 months with many making "drastic restructuring to survive."

If approved at a meeting on Thursday the council will demolish the stadium and temporarily landscape the area after securing funds from the Welsh Assembly Government.

Gareth Sullivan, the cabinet member for economic regeneration and planning, said: "The economic downturn means interest in meeting the aspirations of our masterplan for the land hasn't been as widespread as we'd hoped but we're still confident we can deliver a redevelopment scheme on the Vetch site.

"Demolition funding is a major step in the right direction but, with cabinet permission, officers will revisit the original masterplan for the site to see if there's a more viable scheme that will attract the interest of developers in this volatile economic climate."

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