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National conservation society condemns plans for Kilvey Hill

‘DON’T KILL KILVEY HILL’ was the message from the Open Spaces Society, Britain’s oldest national conservation body, to Swansea Council at a rally on Sunday (24 March).

Kate Ashbrook, the society’s general secretary, joined more than 300 local people on top of Kilvey Hill, north-east of Swansea at a rally against plans by Skyline Swansea Ltd for a vast tourist development, which includes a restaurant and visitor centre, skyswing, cable cars, 1.6 kilometres of high-speed luge runs, and zipwire.

Speaking on the hilltop Kate said, “The impressive turnout today demonstrates how much local people love the hill. It is immensely valuable as a tranquil green space right on Swansea’s doorstep, a part of the city which is lacking in open spaces.

“Here we can absorb the restorative qualities of nature and enjoy the expansive view over Swansea Bay. The woods are full of birdsong, and we can roam freely over this hillside. Skyline’s development will destroy all this.

“Swansea Council has yet to determine the planning application and its application to dispose of open space here. It must demonstrate that the open space is surplus—but how can it be when it is so vital to local people for their health and happiness?

“The hill is criss-crossed by public paths, but many are unrecorded or under-recorded. For instance, many of the footpaths should be recorded as bridleways or restricted byways, as there is a long tradition of riding, cycling, and carriage-driving here.

“Much of the land is also mapped as open access for walkers under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. Skyline proposes to ride roughshod over our rights to the hill.

“It is time Swansea Council recognised the value of Kilvey Hill to its constituents.

“Swansea must treasure the hill not trash it,” Kate declared.