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CONTROVERSIAL housing plans for Gower which have led to more than 1,800 objections are being debated today (Sept 3).

Swansea Council’s planning committee will hear more about the 31-home scheme proposed at a field off Higher Lane, Langland.

Sixteen of the properties, including six bungalows, are proposed to be affordable housing.

The other 15 two and three-bed houses would be for sale to local people on the open market.

The Edenstone Homes proposal has been the subject of four consultations and various amendments.

Objectors are worried the development would negatively impact the area, be detrimental for tourism and have an unacceptable impact on the Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

They also oppose the loss of green space and are concerned about the effect on wildlife and the extra traffic the houses would generate.

They didn’t want the land included as a candidate site for development in the first place when the county’s new development plan was adopted early last year.

Swansea Council planning officers have recommended the Edenstone Homes project for approval, subject to conditions and a legal agreement dealing with specific planning impacts.

Their report concluded that on balance “the scheme is an acceptable form of development that will deliver a high proportion of affordable housing and local needs housing to the area”.

The proposed legal agreement would require Edenstone Homes to contribute £75,750 for highways, coast path and coastal erosion upgrades.

There would also be criteria to determine who could apply to buy the 15 houses for local people – a process which would be replicated as and when the houses were sold on.

The Higher Lane site is one of six “local needs exception sites” in Gower, where high house prices and land values can price out local people and those on low incomes.

Concerns about the visual impact of the Higher Lane scheme have been raised by Mumbles Community Council, while MS Bethan Sayed – as part of her written objection – claimed the proposal did not align with national planning policy

The Welsh Government has issued a holding direction, meaning that the planning committee can reject the application but not formally grant approval.

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