A PATCH of land cherished by people living around it in a built-up area of Swansea will make way for six bungalows.
They will take shape on a field in West Cross surrounded by Cedar Crescent, Elmgrove Road and Linden Avenue.
A total of 103 residents objected to the plans put forward by Swansea Council, saying it would be a tragedy if the green space was lost and wildlife destroyed. Objectors, including Beth Fisher, are angry that the access Cedar Crescent residents have had for decades from their back gardens into the field will be lost. “As you can imagine, I’m absolutely furious,” she said.
The council said the bungalows will provide much-needed homes for tenants and was part of its plan to create up to 1,000 new council homes in Swansea over the next decade. Council planning officers approved the application, with conditions including that no development or site clearance will take place until a detailed scheme of landscaping and planting has been submitted and signed off.
Residents claim work got under way preparing an access lane into the site, and then stopped. Mrs Fisher said she would never have bought her Cedar Crescent house had she known the access onto the field at the rear would be called into question. A council officer wrote to her in January saying the rear access was not permitted. Mrs Fisher claimed the authority would have known about the rear access enjoyed by her and other residents for decades because some of the properties have been occupied by council tenants.
“Why has it taken this long to say we are not allowed rear entrances?” she said. Mrs Fisher also said it would be difficult to work from home when construction started.
Paul Morris, also of Cedar Crescent, said he felt the planning approval “flies in the face of the council’s policy of keeping green spaces”. He said he has complained to the council about the work residents say was started to prepare a new access lane.
The land in question was protected from development in 2002 on the grounds that it would result in the loss of a valuable area of public open space. In their report approving the new scheme, which received five letters of support, council officers said the site was not identified as open space in the new planning framework for Swansea. They added that the site lay “within the residential area where housing development is generally supported”. The report also said the land was not “a designated area of ecological importance”, but that measures to prevent adverse impacts on the habitat and species therein were needed.
In a separate statement, a council spokesman said: “During a review of housing-owned land, the rear access of Cedar Crescent, created by residents backing onto the land was noted. “We wrote to both tenants and homeowners in January advising them that use of this access is not permitted and should not continue.”