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Plans to develop a former disability centre supported by Catherine Zeta Jones are opposed by Mumbles community councillors

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

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PLANS to develop a former disability centre supported by by Catherine Zeta Jones have been opposed by Mumbles community councill- ors — even though work might create a ''nice view for neighbours''.

The Longfields day centre in West Cross had been helping adults with learning and physical difficulties since 1952, and Swansea-born Oscar winner Catherine — a patron of the association — and her husband Michael Douglas made a five-figure donation in 2003 for a hydrotherapy pool at the unit.

But it closed in 2011 after the charity that ran it said it was no longer financially sustainable.

Plans submitted to Swansea Council at the end of last year propose demolishing the centre, to make way for ten homes, with a retained building converted into five self- contained flats, with garages and parking.

Six parking spaces will also be provided for the adjacent chapel.

But community councillors say they are opposed to the scheme, which could see dozens of mature trees felled to make way for the development.

Brian Arthur, who represents the West Cross ward, told a meeting of the council on Tuesday night : "We can't say it is over-intensification, because it is a big site, but I am appalled by what they want to do.

"They want to fell 33 trees, and there are other concerns too.

"The access onto Bethany Lane is narrow, it is just the width of a car, and it will lead to extra traffic onto Mumbles Road. There would be ten houses so there would be at least that many extra cars, and I have concerns about the impact on the existing sewage system.

"There would be an impact on Mumbles Road, which has recently seen flooding."

John Cooper, who represents Oystermouth ward, added: "All the trees are mature, and there is a tree preservation order up there. They would have to come down to widen the entrance, and it will make a right mess, although the people who live there will get a nice view."

The planning application, which is due to be considered by Swansea Council, has been submitted by Longfields Properties LLP and Walsingham, the charity which ran the day centre after merging with the Longfields Association.

Mumbles Community Council will forward its observations to Swansea Council to consider before a decision is reached.

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