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Gower wildflower centre chalet plans plant many questions

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: May 30, 2014

By Richard Youle / richard.youle@swwmedia.co.uk / @YoulePost

A development of 10 chalets has been proposed for the Blackhills Nursery site in Fairwood.

A development of 10 chalets has been proposed for the Blackhills Nursery site in Fairwood.

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QUESTIONS are being asked about plans to turn a Gower wildflower centre into a chalet development.

Applicant Salix Ltd wants to build 10 chalets at the wildflower and aquatic growing area at Blackhills Nursery, Fairwood, with the centre itself becoming a reception building.

Salix Ltd said this growing area, comprising polytunnels and greenhouses, had ceased and was now redundant "for financial reasons".

The plans have planted questions in the minds of The Gower Society.

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In a response to the planning application, the society said there had been a significant number of applications for this site in recent years.

It added: "We note that the application infers that financial reasons are the reason why the nursery side of the business is closing and yet we are presented with a development that may be costing in the order of £1millon."

The society, which has not objected but has "grave concerns", also asked if the centre and associated cafe had benefited from public funding.

The planning report going before councillors next Tuesday said the applicant initially wanted to build 13 two-storey units, but then plumped for 10 single-storey ones instead.

The revised scheme prompted one letter of objection, which claimed it would spoil the writer's view and was "distastefully out of character" with an area once part of a farm.

Swansea planning officers have recommended the chalet plans for refusal, arguing that the design of the buildings was not high enough.

They also felt Salix Ltd had not made it fully clear whether the chalets would be sold individually or run as a single chalet site. They concluded that, in their view, the scheme was "an unjustified form of development".

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