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St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, has started the final phase of demolition works at Coed Darcy – marking an important milestone for the £1.2 billion urban village. The regeneration project will transform the former BP Oil Refinery near Neath, South West Wales, into an urban community for the future.

The demolition of the final buildings on-site concludes the first phase and marks a significant step forward towards the creation of the 4,000 homes and 500,000 sq ft of commercial development space planned.

Rupert Joseland, St. Modwen South West and Wales Regional Director says: “Expected to take up to 20 years to complete, Coed Darcy is a long-term project and a flagship development for St. Modwen. This final phase of demolition will mark the end of an era for BP in Neath but is a positive step forward for the future of the region. Over time, up to 3,000 jobs will be created locally via the scheme, which will offer a quality living and working environment for local people.”

Local demolition contractor, Cuddy Group based at Llandarcy, has been awarded a contract to demolish the circa 80,000 sq ft of offices, a Bitumen Terminal and its associated buildings, built in 1989, at the 1,060 acre site.

John Smith, a former BP employee now at St. Modwen who was part of the original BP construction team and is now involved with the demolition process comments: “The Llandarcy site has played an important part in the local and wider Welsh economy since BP first started operations here during the 1920s. These latest works will help progress the ongoing remediation programme at what is one of Europe’s largest brownfield redevelopment sites.”

The former BP Llandarcy oil refinery was purchased by St. Modwen in May 2008 following selection by BP, the Welsh Assembly Government, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council and the Prince’s Foundation.

Since acquiring the site, St. Modwen has been making good progress with Coed Darcy and is already two years ahead of schedule with the remediation works. The company has also commenced work on the first phase of development known as Area 1 which is located near to the entrance of the site. Here, together with Atlantic Properties, St. Modwen is developing 63 of the first homes which will be released to the market in spring 2010.