The sale of the Council’s Penllergaer Civic Centre, including the site of the former Penllergare estate house is a reminder of the ongoing threat from development to Penllergare Valley Woods, say the Penllergare Trust.
Damage has already been done to Penllergare Valley Woods through adjacent developments and this latest sale of development land by the main entrance and surrounding the nineteenth century Equatorial Observatory raises concerns for the integrity of the designed landscape.
The Penllergare Trust was established in 2000 in response to the wanton demolition of historic features adjacent to the Walled Garden when contractors set up their site compound to build the houses at Parc Penllergare. The adjacent woodlands had also suffered from careless and unsympathetic ‘improvements’, none of which have stood the test of time.
Penllergare Valley Woods is currently being rescued from obscurity, vandalism and dereliction and brought back to life by local people, in what is becoming one of the biggest community driven landscape restoration projects in the country.
Terry Jones, Chair of the Penllergare Trust says “We’re not against development in principle, and fully understand the need to build more houses and places to work, but we strongly feel that in the process of development, special places like Penllergare Valley Woods need to be protected for future generations to enjoy.
Many historic features have already been lost – the old park that graced the now demolished Penllergare house has been built over for housing; the M4 motorway and the A48 have truncated the beautiful John Dillwyn Llewelyn designed landscape garden; the A483 was constructed over the old Home Farm site and balancing ponds that once served the water features in Valley Woods and the Walled Garden, and a Business Park has been built right next door to Valley Woods.”
The sale of the Penllergaer Civic Centre and surrounding land raises more questions and concerns about the impact on Valley Woods and also the future of the historic Observatory, presently being restored back to working condition by the Penllergare Trust.
Now, more than ever, the Penllergare Trust needs support to protect this secret and magical place and to campaign hard to ensure that the inevitable developments on adjacent land, such as on the Civic Centre site do not further erode the special qualities of Valley Woods. Terry Jones goes on to say “The Penllergare Trust is appealing to anyone who shares our love for this special place to show their support by becoming a member of the Friends of Penllergare. This is a powerful way that we can demonstrate the ‘value’ that local communities place on Penllergare Valley Woods, and will strengthen our voice with the local planning authority in the planning process.”
For more information about Penllergare Valley Woods and to find out more about how you can support us, please contact Lee Turner on 01792 344224 or firstname.lastname@example.org