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We are disappointed that the Welsh ministers have agreed that Carrington Moore Estates can dig up Picket Mead Common at Newton, Swansea, in connection with planning permission for adjoining development.
Carrington Moore Estates, in which the former Welsh rugby captain Andy Moore has an interest, want to bury underground services (electricity, gas, water, telecoms and drainage) and lay grasscrete on the common, in connection with their planning consent for four dwellings and associated works, and the partial demolition of Picket Mead House, adjacent to the common. Permission for the development was granted on appeal last September.
Before the development can go ahead, the developers need the consent of the Welsh ministers for works on the common, under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006. We objected strongly to this application last year.
Despite this, inspector Mark Yates on behalf of the Welsh ministers has approved the application, provided the work starts within five years and is completed within 12 months of commencement.
This is a sad day for this small gem of a common where the public has the right to walk and ride. We believe that the works will change the nature of this green lung and we hope that the landowner, Swansea Council, will be strict in ensuring that the land is restored when the works are complete.