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Our picturesque seaside town has been destroyed by luxury chalets ruining our views… now we’re getting our revenge | The Sun

HOMEOWNERS in an acclaimed seaside town are celebrating an order to demolish four luxury holiday chalets they accused of ruining views.

The newbuilds in picturesque resort Landimore in the Gowan Peninsula in Wales have been condemned as a "blot on the landscape".

Now planning chiefs have ruled against the owner, following a rebellion by local residents.

The chalets – rented out for £185 a night – were built without planning permission, according to Swansea Council.

Owner John Phillips told how bookings had been "flat out" since the waterside chalets with hot tubs were opened to guests a year ago.

But there were protests from people living nearby in what 60 years ago became named Britain's first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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The cabins provoked protests not only from neighbours but also the National Trust.

Mr Phillips insisted he did not believe the buildings needed planning permission due to their size when he initially built them.

But after speaking to council workers he was advised to apply for "change of use" status if intending to rent them out.

He then applied for permission arguing that they would attract visitors to the area throughout the year – and boost the economy in an area where tourist accommodation was limited.

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But there were 12 objections to his retrospective plans on the grounds of increased noise, traffic and visual intrusion.

One objector described the cabins as a "blot on the landscape" while another said they should be demolished and the area replanted.

Among the complaints was: "The chalets have only been open to guests since the beginning of July but there is already significantly increased levels of noise from guests staying at the chalets."

The objector described "vehicles coming and going at all times of the day and night" causing "a significant loss to the tranquillity of the area".

Another told the council: "The fact that these chalets have been built and are already operating without any planning permission at all makes a complete mockery of the whole planning process."

A separate opponent wrote: "Having lived on Gower now for 26 years I have seen huge changes over the years and fear that this beautiful and special place is turning into one big wedding and holiday venue with scant regard to the people who live here."

Yet there were also two letters of support, recommending the chalets as the kind of high-class tourist accommodation Gower needed.

Each chalet comprises a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, a pull-out sofa bed for children, a balcony and a hot tub.

They also come with parking spaces close to the Wales Coastal Path.

The cabins are advertised on the business's website for £175 or £185 per night.


But in a planning report, officers said the road leading to the chalets was too narrow and could cause safety issues for pedestrians.

They also judged Mr Phillips had not provided flood consequence and ecological reports, and that the chalets had damaged the roots of protected trees.

The report added: "The need and demand for the holiday chalets in this sensitive countryside location has not been justified."

Mr Phillips said he was considering appealing the decision, saying: "We don't understand what the big problem is.

"There's a massive need for rental accommodation down here, and it provides jobs.

"The local pubs, restaurants and takeaways must have seen an increase in business."

Rhossili Bay Beach in Wales's Gower Peninsula has been described as a "fairytale" and "paradise", with three out of four people polled believing it must be somewhere abroad.

The resort has been compared to Greece and the Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, nearby Three Cliffs Bay was earlier this year named Britain's prettiest beach – while it has also been named as a favourite by celebrities including TV presenter Jeremy Paxman and singer Katherine Jenkins.

Other picturesque seaside towns where residents feel under threat, however, include Folkestone in Kent where there have been concerns about an influx of second home owners.

A "heartbreaking" eyesore in the same county's coastal resort of Margate has also been criticised.

Meanwhile, the people of of Rosslare Strand in Ireland say life is being made "unacceptable" by a morning rush of delivery trucks, low water pressure and excessive litter.

Tourists are being blamed for spoiling Clacton in Essex, while there has also been criticism of invading Londoners in the Cornwall resort of Padstow and of newbuilds in the North Wales town of Conwy.

Many protesters in Wales have long been furious about "second-homers" and AirBNB renters snapping up properties but barely spending any time themselves across the Severn Bridge.

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Among those angered have been others living along the North Wales coast, in Nefyn, as well as fellow seasiders in Pembrokeshire's Newport.

Elsewhere, 51 new properties have been earmarked for Wells-next-to-the-sea in North Norfolk – close to where neighbours have also condemned what was dubbed a new "Bond villain"-esque "monstrosity".

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