10 year Gower holiday scheme saga set to end

FIVE holiday lets planned at a former quarry in Gower will remain on the drawing board – a decade after they were proposed.

But the unresolved planning saga in Horton looks set to finally turn a corner. Businessman Brian Richards, the owner of the former limestone quarry in Horton, has agreed to comply with a long-standing enforcement notice relating to the scheme.

Mr Richards first applied to build the holiday lets – involving the partial excavation of the quarry – in June 2012. Penrice Community Council objected, claiming among other things that the rock face was dangerous and that the proposed holiday lets would be too close to the road on Horton Hill.

The application was amended and then approved by Swansea Council two years later, subject to a number of conditions.

But the council said partial excavation work to prepare the quarry for the five properties was unauthorised, and issued a temporary “stop” notice in 2017 followed by an enforcement notice.

The notice required Mr Richards to reshape the quarry faces, plant a hedge and spray the quarry with a mix of grass seed, water, fertiliser and mulch – known as hydro-seeding.

Mr Richards appealed, but the notice was upheld by a Welsh Government-appointed inspector, who varied some aspects of it.

The dispute rumbled on – a further enforcement notice was issued, which the council said wasn’t complied with in the time frame given.

Then, in 2020, the council said it was continuing to work with Mr Richards to ensure that “certain works” relating to the enforcement notice were completed. Mr Richards, who owns the nearby Bank Farm Leisure camping and caravan site, contended that the work couldn’t be done in a safe way.

Horton Hill leads down towards Horton beach, and the boulder-strewn quarry can be seen from the adjacent beach at Port Eynon. The quarry site is within Horton Conservation Area and the Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Little appears to have taken place since, prompting frustration for a local resident, who wanted to know what was happening.

The council said discussions have taken place recently with Mr Richards.
A spokesman for the authority said:

“The site owner has stated they will comply with the enforcement notice. We remain in touch with them to ensure that the necessary work is completed.”

Mr Richards confirmed that he would be carrying out work, adding that it was supposed to have been done in April.

He said planning for the holiday lets had lapsed.

“The holidays lets are dead, which is a shame,” he said.

Richard Youle- Local Democracy Reporter

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