Home » Three public access points restored on controversial perimeter fence in Waunarlwydd
Politics Swansea West Wales

Three public access points restored on controversial perimeter fence in Waunarlwydd

The fenced-off playing fields near The Firs housing estate, Waunarlwydd, Swansea (Pic: Richard Youle)

PUBLIC access has been restored at playing fields in Waunarlwydd following mediation between Swansea Council and an action group which was angry that residents had been shut out from the land by a perimeter fence.

The council said three access points were opened at the fence on December 14, although gaps had appeared last weekend as a result of suspected vandalism.

Campaigners from Waunarlwydd Playing Fields Action Group, which has raised thousands of pounds for legal and mediation costs, said the situation was not fully resolved from its point of view.

Their fight started when fencing was erected around the playing fields by a football club – Waunarlwydd Galaxy – which had been granted a lease for the land two years ago by the council. The football club had sought permission beforehand to put the fencing up, saying it was needed to tackle vandalism and dog fouling.

Mediation between the council and action group took place in October. A spokeswoman for the action group claimed that four access points should have been opened, not three, and that this should have happened weeks ago.

She said there was also concern about what the action group perceived to be demands from the football club, which the football club disputes. “This is not the end,” she said.

The current situation is that the football club has temporary fencing around one of the two pitches and a storage area on the land it leases.

A council spokesman said it was unable to comment in detail about the situation due to the “confidential nature of the mediation arrangements”, but he said the authority was focused on working with all parties to reach a solution as quickly as possible.

“This includes an action contained in the mediation agreement to install temporary fencing around the southern pitch and enable the immediate opening of access points to the remainder of the land,” said the spokesman.

Waunarlwydd Galaxy’s position is that the mediation process involved the action group and the council, and not it, and that it could not make demands. A spokesman for the football club said:  “It’s up to the council and residents to find agreement.”

The land in question is close to a housing estate known as The Firs, and children living there who attend the nearby primary school, YGG Y Login Fach, can walk across it to the school as they used to before the perimeter fencing was put up.