Glan Llyn (Lakeside) is the name of a new mixed-use community development, in the east of Newport, south Wales on the heavy end of the former Llanwern steelworks, at the edge of the Caldicot Moors. The moors have a wealth of buried archaeology of international importance, including prehistoric and Roman landscapes which have been protected and preserved over the years by alluvial deposits.
The steel production section of Llanwern steel works closed in 2001, leading to the loss of 1,300 jobs. A finishing plant still remains in operation today. After the closure of steel production, Corus Group started the process of finding a redevelopment partner, choosing St. Modwen Properties, who in 2004 bought a 600-acre (240 ha) package of land. The redevelopment process started with the clearing of the former steel works buildings, and making the site environmentally safe. This allowed the site to act as a Park & Ride facility for the 2010 Ryder Cup event at the Celtic Manor Resort. Eventually up to 400,000 tonnes of concrete from the former steel works will be used in the redevelopment of the site.
St Modwen have set out a £1Bn mixed-use redevelopment plan for the site, which it is envisaged will take 20 years to complete, in circa 2026–28. The new community plan includes the construction of 4,000 homes, with a supporting infrastructure that includes schools, a police station, pub/restaurant, supermarket, community centre as well as a number of open spaces that will include two new lakes and a water theme park, new access roads, a GPs’ surgery plus health and leisure facilities.
The first phase was approved in April 2010 by Newport City Council, which will create 1,330 homes, the district centre, a primary school and the west lake. After gaining specific planning permission in April 2011, Persimmon plc started work on the construction of the first 307 homes in September 2011. The Persimmon/Charles Church developments were completed in 2016. St Modwen is currently building houses around the Pools and Lakeside Parks areas of the development, and Bellway Homes commenced work on building further houses adjacent to the St Modwen site at Monk’s Meadow in autumn 2016. There are plans for a small railway halt at the far end of the development.
Due to its proximity to the M4 and the Second Severn Crossing, and relatively low property prices (compared to South West England) it has proved to be very popular with commuters working in Bristol. Its popularity has risen in recent years following the abolition of the tolls on both motorway bridges at the end of 2018.
“In the Nick of Time”
Glan Llyn is home to the mechanical clock known as “In the Nick of Time” created by sculptor Andy Plant. The clock was commissioned and paid for by Newport Council at a cost of £100,000, as part of Ebbw Vale Garden Festival. On the hour, the structure would open to reveal the hidden characters inside. After the festival event the clock was relocated to John Frost Square, Newport, where it remained until the redevelopment of the area into Friars Walk. After almost seven years in storage it was finally relocated to the “Mynedfa” roundabout at Glan Llyn. The clock is a popular landmark in the area.
Parks and Recreation
The development currently has two main parks – Pools Park (including the Western Pools) and Lakeside Park (formerly known as Western Park), both of which include man made lakes, and are home to an extensive range of wildfowl. Pools Park was original home to the Spencer Steel Works Angling Club, and was originally located just inside the main entrance to the steel works. The parks are popular with local residents, as well as visitors to the nearby Newport Retail Park.
Central Park, a smaller park for younger children, is located in the centre of the development at Sgwâr Brinell.
The development is close to a number of popular tourist attractions, including the RSPB reserve at the Newport Wetlands and the world-famous Newport Transporter Bridge.
Politics and Representation
Glan Llyn is part of the Llanwern electoral ward, which itself is part of the Newport East UK parliamentary constituency.
Glan Llyn is situated within the catchment area for Lliswerry High School. A new English medium primary school is under development at the western end of the site, and it is anticipated that this will be opened and fully established by the mid 2020s.