The Gower Society Planning Committee
Planning decisions can affect Gower – for better or for worse – and for generations to come; so the Society’s work on planning matters is extremely important. Since the formation of our Society in 1948 Planning has been our priority concern. Currently we have a dedicated team of 8 Members that include our Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary that look at applications on a three week rota. We at all times, try to be fair and only object where an application appears to us to be not in accord with current planning regulations. Comments are made where we consider it to be appropriate. We look in detail at roughly 10 to 15 planning applications every three weeks and respond to about 5 or 6 on average. Contrary to popular belief we make relatively few objections. We concentrate on the AONB and the fringes of urban Swansea but do become involved in matters as far north as Mynydd y Gwair within The Lordship of Gower.
The Society works within current national and local policies regarding planning matters, e.g., Welsh Assembly guidance, the Swansea Local Development Plan, the Gower Management Plan, The Design Guide for Gower, as well as the Lighting Guide and other supplementary guidance. These guides are currently being revised by skilled officers of the City and County of Swansea and its Consultants to take in various changes in legislation. We contributed to their original content and we will take part in the eventual public consultation in due course.
What does the Society undertake on Planning matters?
- scrutinises all planning applications for all of the CCS and in particular the AONB and its adjacent fringes;
- responds if required with constructive comments or objections where thought necessary;
- holds meetings with the CCS planning department to discuss perceived problem areas;
- conducts regular aerial surveys over the Gower Peninsula in a manner that is not as extensive as - and no more detailed than - the readily available Google Earth satellite images but at a time of the year of the Committee’s choosing;
- combines Committee information with that provided by satellite images;
- responds to relevant planning appeals which benefits both us and land owners, seeks professional planning and legal advice where appropriate and makes available the necessary financial resources to cover the costs;
- responds to local and national consultations on a wide range of planning matters and sit on various Local and National Committees;
- makes formal complaints on activities that could be contrary to current legislation that often lead to enforcement action by the council.
Your Access to the CCS web sites and action that can be taken.
The City and County of Swansea has developed a user-friendly website (http://www.swansea.gov.uk/planningsearch) where anyone can look at planning decisions, planning applications, submitted every week and view all relevant details. There is usually a three-week time-slot in which anyone can respond to respond.
There is also access to an online formal complaints procedure that is easy to use.
The Society always welcomes hearing Members’ concerns about planning. However we are volunteers and have no more influence in our representations than any other member of the public. The first port of call is the CCS(City & County of Swansea) Planning website to be fully informed of the details and then Local Community Council and elected CCS Members.