South West Wales

Precedent warning as 'overtly modern' Gower home backed

The part-built mansion
Image caption Work was halted on the partly built house last year

Objectors to an "overtly modern" house in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty said it would set a precedent after it was approved.

Work was stopped on the property on Gower overlooking Three Cliffs Bay as it was bigger than had been agreed.

But builders can now continue after Swansea councillors approved a retrospective revised design.

Councillors were told it was "potentially an outstanding example of modern architecture."

The house is being built for local hotelier and entrepreneur Martin Morgan but he did not attend the planning meeting.

Controversy has dogged the house in the small village of Panmaen since planning consent was granted by officers without it going before councillors in 2008.

Work was stopped last year when the partly built shell of the building was found to be larger than had been approved.

As a designated AONB planning guidelines are stricter on Gower than other parts of Swansea.

Image caption Councillors were told the house enjoys extensive views of Three Cliffs Bay

The Gower Society opposed the retrospective plans along with a petition signed by 36 people and Ilston Community Council.

Despite some changes Frances Owen-John, representing the community council, said by granting approval a precedent would be set.

"We are entering dangerous territories", she said, adding developers were taking "an unusual interest" in the outcome of the case.

But a majority of city councillors voted to approve the plans after first agreeing to impose tree preservation orders on all mature trees at the site.

Senior planning officer David Gill told the meeting the house could be described as "overtly modern" but added it "had the potential to become an outstanding example of modern architecture."

Most of the exterior would be limestone or glazed while the majority of the roof will be turfed.

Mr Gill said in his report: "In overall design terms the application is considered exceptional.

"It will establish a benchmark for quality contemporary architecture and will demonstrate how well considered contemporary design can respond positively to the sensitive and cherished landscape of the Gower AONB."

The house is being built for local hotelier and entrepreneur Martin Morgan but he did not attend the planning meeting.

A spokeswoman for Mr Morgan had previously said: "We adhered to the required procedures for submitting our application, including providing the design to the Design Commission for Wales who strongly endorsed the plans."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites