We are disappointed that Welsh Ministers have approved plans by Persimmon Homes to swap an area of Mynydd Garngoch Common at Gorseinon, north-west of Swansea.
Persimmon has been permitted to strike 0.71 hectares of common land from the register and use it for development, replacing it with 0.81 hectares of land which the Open Spaces Society and others believe to be inferior. The development is a roundabout to provide access to the new Garden Village.
Applications to exchange common land require the consent of Welsh ministers, via the Planning Inspectorate, in addition to any planning permission. Because there were a number of objections a public inquiry was held in February.
We objected because we believed that Persimmon should have arranged its development to avoid the common, which is a precious asset for the community.
We considered that the proposed replacement land was inferior to that to be taken. The current site is visible to local people as they pass it every day on the adjoining roads, whereas the replacement land is hidden away behind a row of houses.
The existing land is covered in trees and vegetation, attractive for its landscape qualities and its opportunities for informal recreation and children’s play. The replacement land is just a field, lacking in interesting features. We believe that the public and the neighbourhood will be disadvantaged by the exchange.
Unfortunately, the planning inspector, Vicki Hirst, disagreed. She concluded that the public interest or the interest of local people would not be adversely affected.