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Artist feels he's getting the brush-off over ban on sales

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: October 25, 2013

no-go Artist Paul Smith has been told be needs planning permission to sell his artwork from two table tops in Mumbles. SWgm20131023E-005_C.

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AN aggrieved artist claims he has been victimised by Swansea Council after being told he can't sell his paintings at a popular Mumbles spot.

Paul Smith said he was told he needed planning permission for two pasting tables at Knab Rock, near Verdi's cafe, where he has sold his work at busy times of the tourist season for some 15 years.

But the council, which owns the land in question, said it wrote to Mr Smith in 2011 saying the pitch would not be available because new offices and toilets were being built there as part of a wider watersports strategy.

A council spokesman said Mr Smith would not get the required change of use planning permission for that site, but that he had been offered a pitch elsewhere.

Mr Smith responded that the pitch in question — the car park at the bottom of Sketty Lane — was no good for his paintings of the Mumbles foreshore and pier.

"My friends and family were laughing about that," said Mr Smith, of Penclawdd.

He added: "I cannot fathom the council's mentality. They seem to be victimising me. I am only trying to make a living."

The 53-year-old said he used to sell up to seven paintings in a week at Knab Rock. He said he now sells what he can in Penclawdd.

The father-of-two has brought the matter up with the constituency office of Gower AM Edwina Hart, and said he was not going to back down.

A council spokesman said it had been working with Mr Smith to find a suitable alternative site, and welcomed further discussions.

He said: "Knab Rock is part of a wider plan to develop the location as a centre of excellence for watersports."

He added: "It is the case that any business trading on land for more than 28 days in a calendar year, small or large, requires planning permission for a change of use."

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  • TaipeiSteve  |  October 25 2013, 8:59AM

    It is the artists and craftspeople that often bring character and vitality to a seafront area, and so the council should endeavor to establish an spot in Mumbles for such people to sell their wares. One day, this country will disappear under an avalanche of planning applications and bureaucracy

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