Stride Treglown Architects

Gwynfaen, Penyrheol, Swansea

Our ‘Natural and Native’ approach to Green Infrastructure has allowed us to set new standards in placemaking. We are proud to have been responsible for a legacy that has satisfied both the Welsh Government and local residents alike.

In 2018, EDP successfully tendered for a joint venture between Pobl and Coastal Housing. The vision for Gwynfaen was to create a new 144-home community with a strong rural character that set a new standard for residential development in Wales – by combining modern affordable housing with ample green space, while also hitting ambitious environmental goals.

Green Street Stride Credit

Our Challenge

Our clients wanted to take an innovative approach to the site’s Green Infrastructure (GI), reducing the development’s environmental footprint and enabling future residents to connect with nature.

So, our role was to guide the design team to create a landscape-led masterplan with a strong organic character that complemented nearby rural neighbourhoods surrounding the Loughor Estuary.


There were also stringent requirements regarding the latest Sustainable Drainage (SuDS) standards, along with ambitious energy efficiency and low-carbon goals of the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme (IHP).

Rather than viewing these requirements as constraints to be overcome, we challenged ourselves to view them as positive drivers of placemaking.

Our Solution

The concept that underpins EDP’s masterplan for this site is of an evolving settlement that sprung up at a confluence of routes – a pattern typical of the region’s villages.

The new settlement area has been established with a Community Hub building and ‘village green’ at its heart, which is surrounded by compact residential development. This provides a neighbourhood core that offers a place for activity, play and community gathering and which benefits from framed views to the Loughor Estuary and Gower.


Using this confluence as the epicentre for our GI, we then created a low-speed network of roads and pedestrian pathways that radiates outward toward areas of lower density, connecting with the wider countryside.

Our Extraordinary

EDP embraced the new and emerging SuDS requirements in Wales by maximising every opportunity to innovate with GI – adding character and biodiversity to the site. As a result, the GI strategy has been integrated into every street, intercepting rainfall at every opportunity and keeping water at the surface within naturalistic, dry streams, rain gardens and swales that are planted with native species.

This ‘Natural and Native’ approach to the streetscape has allowed residents to not only understand the functioning of the site drainage, but also to engage with nature whilst providing habitat connectivity and flight corridors for wildlife.


“It was really exciting to be involved in a project with such an ambitious vision, as it required creative thinking from start to finish. With high environmental goals for innovation and sustainability set by Welsh Government and the client, every step provided an opportunity to test and embrace new ideas, which was both challenging and fun.

It was particularly rewarding knowing that the organic network of spaces and streets would allow future residents to enjoy and engage with nature literally on their doorsteps – an amazing legacy and a great lesson on the importance of placemaking to the success of new neighbourhoods that has helped with countless projects since.”

- Phil Dascombe - Principal Masterplanner

Our core project team

Dai Lewis
Gareth Howell
Joe Hall
Senior Landscape Architect
Philip Dascombe