Company building houses near Swansea apologises after felling trees by accident
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.
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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