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We have made a strong objection to plans to desecrate Kilvey Hill, east of Swansea.
We have submitted our objection to Asbri Planning, acting for Swansea Skyline Ltd, which proposes to develop the hill and surrounding area with a leisure development. This comprises, among other infrastructure, gondola stations, a multi-purpose visitor building, luge tracks, chairlift, skyswing, zipline and ancillary buildings. The matter is likely to come before Swansea Council’s planning committee later this year.
The society argues that the proposed development would have a devastating effect on Kilvey Hill, which is a special area, loved by local people and visitors for its opportunities for informal public access on foot, horseback, bike, and horse-drawn carriage.
Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘There are many paths over the hill which are not recorded on the definitive map of public rights of way because Swansea, as a former borough council, was exempt until 1983 from the requirement in the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act to create an official map of public paths.
Thus, only a fraction of the routes which are used have been recorded, and those which are on the record are recorded inaccurately and only as footpaths. There is a long tradition of horse-riding and carriage driving over Kilvey Hill which is not reflected on the official map. Local residents have been pressing Swansea Council to include all these routes on the definitive map, at their correct status, but have met with resistance because of lack of resources.
‘So, when the developers claim that ‘existing rights of way will be retained’ they are wrong. They have ignored the many routes which are not recorded but which are nevertheless public highways.
‘They have ignored the fact that much of Kilvey Hill is recorded as public-access land under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, where people have the right to walk freely, and enjoy the expansive views over Swansea Bay. That freedom would be impaired by the development.
‘This massive development is totally inappropriate here. It is out of all proportion to the intimate landscape of Kilvey Hill. Local people are up in arms at this assault on their much-loved hill.
‘We shall support our members in fighting this pernicious plan,’ Kate declares.