27th February 2021

Llanelli Online News

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Last remaining tenants at Llanelli flats have mixed emotions over their imminent demolition

ONE of the last tenants at a condemned complex of flats will have a few mixed emotions when he and his wife finally leave.

Allan and Carol Wood moved into Ty Elizabeth, Llanelli, with their three children 30 years ago.

While many tenants around them came and went, Mr and Mrs Wood stayed put.

Their children have all grown up and flown the roost – and so will Mr and Mrs Wood in the coming weeks.

Carmarthenshire Council is knocking down Ty Elizabeth, Ty Cydwel, Ty Meriel, and Ty Howard, which together have 44 flats and maisonettes.

The complex – built in the 1960s and lacking any lifts – will be replaced by more modern housing.

Demolition work could start as early as March.

“We have found it pretty good,” said Mr Wood (pictured). “The area is tidy, and it’s close to town.

“We’ve made friends here over the years.

“There used to be a Polish couple downstairs, and I got on great with them.”

Mr Wood said he’d heard rumours for a while that the complex, including the couple’s three-bedroom first and second floor maisonette, might be knocked down.

He and his wife have found a two-bed council bungalow nearby, which will undergo some work before the keys are handed over.

So it’ll be goodbye to the concrete staircase, and hello to ground-floor living and a front and back garden.

“I’ve been over to see the bungalow,” said Mr Wood. “I must admit it does look good, although they’ve got to sort the kitchen out.”

He and his wife are understood to be the last but one remaining tenants.

“When we first moved here, if someone moved out someone else would be in with a month or two,” said Mr Wood.

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But the units have become increasingly empty.

Mr Wood used to be a tanker driver before suffering a heart attack. He went back on the road after a while but the work became too much.

However, he is employed these days as a milkman for Ddol Fach Dairy, Llwynhendy, three or four days a week. It means getting up around midnight, doing his rounds in Carmarthenshire and Swansea and getting home at around 8.30am. He normally hits the sack at around 3.30pm.

His wife worked for the county council before retiring.

Asked if might watch the flats get demolished, he said: “If I get the chance, I probably will.”

You still see quite a few people outside Ty Elizabeth because one of the ground floor flats is home to Tyisha Food Bank.

There, with Christmas approaching, Tyisha councillors Andre McPherson and Suzy Curry are sorting out food packages for some 470 families – more than twice what they forecast.

The Labour duo both back the demolition plans, which are part of a £9 million regeneration package for Tyisha announced by the Plaid Cymru-Independent council administration in 2019.

“We not only support the plans but we are pushing them forward as much as possible,” said Cllr Curry.

She said of the Tyisha regeneration programme: “It will completely revamp the area.”

The food bank will move to a temporary home on nearby Station Road and then have a longer-term place in the soon-to-be refurbished railway goods shed on Marsh Street.

Cllr McPherson said of the flats and maisonettes: “They have served their purpose.

“They were designed to have a lifespan. But people can’t get up and down the stairs.

“It will be good to see them go. “

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