A GROUP to protect and support one of Swansea’s finest parks is being set up.

The new Friends of Singleton Park will have a constitution and links with similar groups across the city.

It followed a public meeting in Sketty about contentious Swansea Council proposals to restore old buildings at the park’s Home Farm depot and create a new housing estate there.

The meeting was called by Liberal Democrat councillors Mike Day and Cheryl Philpott, and while the main driver was the Home Farm proposal, one of the outcomes was a desire to create a friends group.

And this outcome has received support from Conservative and Labour councillors who attended the meeting.

Cllr Day said nearly 70 people came along to Sketty Park Community Centre, and the overwhelming consensus was that while some form of development at Home Farm – currently a council depot – would be considered acceptable, housing was not felt to be appropriate.

“Ideas included a cultural arts workshop area, and small business start-ups,” said Cllr Day.

“The challenge would be to find some form of funding.”

Cllr Day said the friends of group would be non-political and have a wider aim of enhancing Singleton Park, where Home Farm is located.

Conservative councillor Steve Gallagher said he supported the friends of proposal, as did Labour councillor Peter Jones.

“It is a major park, and it needs to have a friends of group,” said Cllr Jones. “Swansea’s nature conservation team would be happy to work with it.”

The Labour administration has repeatedly stressed that its Home Farm proposal would not encroach at all on the surrounding park land, and that expressions of interest from commercial partners were only being sought at this stage.

The proposal is for a 42-home estate with some of the properties created by restoring the old buildings, one of which is listed. And at least 20% of the houses would be classed as affordable.

Speaking last month, council leader Rob Stewart said: “We would keep tight control of any development and would turn this unattractive, largely unseen location into something of which Swansea people could be proud.

“Not a blade of grass would be touched in the neighbouring parkland.”

Image Attribution: Wiki Commons, Nigel Davies / The Boating Lake, Singleton Swansea

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