Mumbles developers must observe common-land law

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We have written to John Bollom, the managing director of Amusement Equipment Co Ltd which has consent for a major development on the headland and foreshore at Mumbles. The society has reminded Mr Bollom of his company’s obligations regarding common land.

The society was among the numerous objectors to the luxury hotel, apartments and associated developments which Swansea Council approved in outline in June and the Welsh Government subsequently refused to call in.

The society has told Mr Bollom that, before the developers build the car park and other paraphernalia on the headland common where the public has the right to walk, he will either need consent from the environment minister for works on common land, under section 194 of the Law of Property Act 1925, or he must find suitable exchange land and then get the minister’s consent under section 147 of the Inclosure Act 1845.

Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘We are dismayed that this development has been permitted in an area of such high landscape value, on common land where people have a right to walk. The Mumbles headland is a unique spot, extremely visible and treasured by local people and visitors. Clearly this development will destroy its special character.

‘It is appalling that the developers seem not to care that they are set to destroy an area of common land, an ancient land type which goes back to medieval times. Amusement Equipment, which surely employs high-powered lawyers, seems ignorant of the special laws which protect commons.

‘Unless the consent to build on the common is sought promptly, it is likely to delay the development—and of course there is no guarantee of its approval.

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