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Swansea council approve outline plans for 850 homes in Penllergaer

CAMPAIGNERS in Penllergaer village are still hoping a patchwork of adjoining fields won’t make way for hundreds of houses.

The council’s planning committee has approved outline plans for up to 850 properties at the Parc Mawr site, Penllergaer, including a detailed phase one consent for 184 of them.

However, the Welsh Government is to have the final say on the application.

Developer Bellway Homes said it wanted to start building the 184 houses before the end of the year, subject to the Welsh Government giving the go-ahead and a planning agreement being finalised with the council.

But ward councillor Wendy Fitzgerald said opposition, including from Penllergaer Community Council, remained intense and that objectors were forwarding information to Gower MS Rebecca Evans, Gower MP Tonia Antoniazzi, and South Wales West MS Suzy Davies.

“We’re keeping them fully aware about our concerns,” said Cllr Fitzgerald.

Around 700 people objected to the application, but planning officers recommended it for approval after the site had been earmarked for housebuilding in Swansea’s latest development plan.

Cllr Fitzgerald reiterated that local people still felt aggrieved that the council had fought to protect Parc Mawr when the previous development plan for the county was adopted in around 2007.

Asked if younger people wanted a greater supply of houses to help them stay in the area, she said this was not the case.

“We aren’t Nimbys here,” she said. “We had almost 500 houses allocated in Penllergar in the old UDP (unitary development plan).”

She said nearly 250 of those had been built, plus a further 80 houses by Penllergare Valley Woods, but that a large site north of Llewellyn Road remained undeveloped.

Cllr Fitzgerald said: “It’s not as if we aren’t contributing to the housing shortage.”

She also said the land earmarked for Bellway Homes’s first phase of 184 houses at Parc Mawr comprised a lot of “the best and most versatile” agricultural land.

Cllr Fitzgerald said she was worried that additional facilities, such as a link road from Gorseinon Road to the north, and a new school might be created if the scheme went ahead but did not reach agreed “trigger points” based on the number of units built.

Speaking at the planning committee meeting last month, an agent on behalf of Bellway Homes said the Parc Mawr development would deliver a school, 13 play areas, two sports pitches, a multi-use games area, BMX track, allotments, walking and cycling routes, and up to 850 homes – around 170 of which would be affordable.

The overall site is 196 acres in total. The houses, school, roads and other buildings would take up 88 acres.

One person wrote to the council in support the scheme, saying affordable housing in the area was very limited.

A Bellway Homes spokesman said there had been interest already from potential buyers, and that it wanted to get on-site by the end of the year.

He said the company was finalising a planning agreement – known as a Section 106 agreement – with the local authority.

“This is running in parallel to the Welsh Government reviewing the application,” he said.

“Only once the review is determined and, assuming it falls in our favour, will the Section 106 be signed and planning permission granted.”

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