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Company building houses near Swansea apologises after felling trees by accident

24 Mar 2022 3 minute read
The fields at Parc Mawr, adjoining Penllergaer in Swansea (pls credit Jason Jones of Photo, Video, Aerial Ltd).

Richard Youle, local democracy reporter

A housebuilding company has apologised after trees on a building site near Swansea were cut down by accident.

Bellway Homes said the demise of an oak and Scots pine were due to a “miscommunication” following amendments to a tree report.

The company has outline planning permission for up to 850 new homes and a primary school at Parc Mawr, Penllergaer – one of the largest residential schemes in Swansea for decades.

A Bellway Homes spokesman confirmed two trees had been felled by mistake.

“The trees were on the periphery of the planned development and would not have impacted the construction of new homes on the site, so we are sorry for this error,” he said.

“As soon as Bellway discovered the error, we contacted Swansea Council and have agreed to plant ten trees by way of mitigation, including Scots pine, oak, maple and rowan.”

The £130m Parc Mawr development is to be built in phases. Work on the first phase, which has detailed planning consent and comprises 184 homes, has started.

Bellway Homes has said the scheme will include 20% affordable housing, new sports pitches, link roads, play areas, allotments and walking and cycling routes, as well as a new school.

The council’s planning committee approved the Parc Mawr project in 2020, despite some 700 objections, but could not formally grant permission due to an intervention from the Welsh Government.

Two months later ministers decided not to call in the application, meaning consent could be issued.

Bellway Homes has applied to the council this month to amend its landscaping scheme to allow for the loss of the two trees.

Lost trees

Penllergaer councillor Wendy Fitzgerald said the felling was clearly a mistake, but it was not the first time trees had been cut down in Penllergaer when they shouldn’t have been.

She was referring to the felling of a giant redwood and about 70 other trees at a housing site on the edge of Penllergare Valley Woods in 2018, although this had nothing to do with Bellway Homes.

“It seems to keep happening,” said Cllr Fitzgerald.

She said she trees were being lost to diseases and storms in large numbers of late, and that the planting of younger trees did not make up for the benefits of mature ones.

“This is all part of the equation,” she said.

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Evan Aled Bayton
Evan Aled Bayton
2 years ago

No surprises here. Mr Sauro has never really been held to account properly for the bizarre unexplained destruction of the redwood and about 70 other trees. I expect if construction of houses on that land has not already started it will sooner or later. There are various tricks builders use to get land reclassified to construct houses when originally planning permission was not granted. Bellway obviously don’t care either. House building in the UK is about money not houses and acres of shoddy small overpriced stereotyped rubbish low quality houses are built all over the UK and then sold on… Read more »

2 years ago

Perhaps Bellend homes should buy their employees a copy of the ‘Observer book of Trees’ or maybe ‘i spy trees’ would be less challenging

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
2 years ago

“20% affordable housing”…..thats well sh*te!!!

2 years ago

Ten? It they’re whips and not standards they’ll cost about a fiver each.

850 homes, including 160 starter homes, and a new school for them is commendable but I think perhaps, in the face of 700 objections to the development, that Bellway could contribute a little more.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
2 years ago

This “felling trees by accident” is happening too often, accident or not whoever did it should face legal action. Saying it was an accident is no excuse.

Grayham Jones
2 years ago

All new homes only for welsh people not incomers and no more second homes in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

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