PROTECTED trees in Gower have been cut down without permission, Swansea Council has said.
Council officers are looking into the issue on land to the west of Bishop’s Wood nature reserve, between Caswell and Murton.
The council has also issued a notice to the landowner – businessman Chris Kiley – about early morning noise and disturbance relating to work on a new barn.
Mr Kiley said a survey he’d had carried out of the land in question had not indicated a blanket tree protection order.
He also said the early morning starts by contractors had stopped as soon as the council had made him aware.
Mr Kiley – the founder and managing director of the CK’s Supermarkets chain – has permission to build a green, metal-clad barn with a pitched roof on the agricultural land.
The council, and Bishopston councillor Lyndon Jones, have dealt with a number of complaints from the public.
A council spokesman said: “We recently served a notice on the landowner to address complaints about early morning works and the related noise disturbance.
“Further complaints from residents concerned about ongoing works have prompted a number of site visits – where we have established a small number of trees in a protected area have been felled.
“We are currently examining these unauthorised works so we can determine what steps are taken in terms of enforcement.”
Mr Kiley said he had installed a new section of roadway to access the barn, and had planted 660 new hedgerow plants.
He said he also wanted to put down a walking track in the wooded area and clear our out ivy which was proliferating there.
“The woodland is a mess – it’s thick with ivy,” he said.
“I employed someone to do a survey of it.”
Separately, Mr Kiley is seeking council approval to relocate a horse riding area closer to his existing stable block.
A Welsh Government-appointed planning inspector previously ruled that the horse riding area which had been built failed to conserve the Gower Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty. The inspector also raised concerns about a sceptic tank.
Bishopston councillor Lyndon Jones said constituents had raised concerns about aspects of the recent work in connection with the new barn and access to it.
“I’ve been taking up issues on behalf of residents,” he said.
“I’ve had great support from the council in dealing with them.”