Byron Backs Campaign to Protect Antient Woodland

GOWER MP Byron Davies is backing campaigners protesting against plans to build a new road through an ancient woodland which also contains habitat used by dormice.

Persimmon Homes want to build 750 houses at Garden Village and a new access road across Garngoch Common is proposed from Hospital Road in Penllergaer.

The company has applied to get this portion of land de-registered as common land and will replace it with a slightly larger area of land nearby.

But the company’s own environmental impact assessment, which was carried out by an ecologist, found that the road would pass through an ancient woodland where evidence of dormice has also been found.

Mr Davies said he would be objecting to the proposed exchange of common land which will be decided by Planning Inspectorate Wales.

He said: “Ancient woodland has to contain trees which are more than 500 years old in order to get that designation. And dormice are an endangered and protected species. For these reasons alone, I would oppose the plan.

“But I have also opposed the building of these houses at all. Local residents are objecting because of the massive increase in traffic that this development would bring to the area.

“As we all know, there is gridlock on all the roads leading from the Penllergaer junction of the M4 at peak times. Just look at what’s happening in Gorseinon, Penllergaer, Gowerton, Kingsbridge and other communities. People have had enough.

“We must also remember that this site is one of a number included in the draft LDP which is still under consideration. If all the sites in that were approved, this part of North Gower would be turned into a giant car park with every road full of stationary traffic.

“There are also many unresolved issues to do with capacity at the sewage works in Gowerton. The public meeting held at the weekend touched on pollution to the Loughor estuary caused by hundreds of spillages a year from both Gowerton  and Bynea treatment works. Until Welsh Water can clean up its act and increase its capacity to deal with existing sewage levels, we should not even be contemplating increasing those levels by building thousands of new homes in the area. This is something that I’ve long been concerned about and have raised almost monthly.

“Something like 6,500 extra homes are proposed for the Gower constituency and the overwhelming majority of these are in the old industrial areas of north Gower.”