Degradation of Picket Mead common, Swansea

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We have deplored the decision to allow a new access-track across the lovely, one-hectare, Picket Mead common, at Newton, west of Swansea.  The application, which also includes the laying of underground services, was made by Carrington Moore Estates Ltd, to provide access to a new development adjoining the common.  Because it comprises works on common land, it needed the consent of Welsh ministers as well as planning permission. 

Photo of Picket Mead common. Grasscrete will replace the existing track in the photograph, but spread out to the left of the car, and to the right in front of the wall and bearing round into the opening near the Scots Pine. Photo: Open Spaces Society

The application includes an entirely new road-surface across Picket Mead from the southerly termination of the existing drive at the entrance to Picket Mead house, west to the new entrance to the development site.  It will also include replacing the existing surface with Grasscrete (see Google Streetview).  All this has been permitted by the inspector acting for Welsh ministers, Vicki Hirst. 

Says our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook: ‘Picket Mead common is a tiny green plot, treasured by local people for informal recreation.  These new tracks will suburbanise it and eat away the green space, encouraging car parking and mess.   

‘We are sad to see this lovely place degraded because of development next door.  People need green space close to home, for their health and well-being, and Picket Mead common is like a precious jewel to them. 

‘We have real concerns about the use of Grasscrete to surface the new access road: done well, it can produce an acceptable surface for motor vehicles, but if laid badly, or not looked after, it can end up looking wretched.’ 

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