Greens call for Vetch gardens to be returned

At a meeting of the Sandfields Community Association earlier this week officers from Swansea Council outlined plans for the demolition of the former football ground at the Vetch Field and subsequent landscaping of the area. The area will be turned into a temporary park as Swansea Council seeks a developer for the site.

Keith Ross, Green Party Assembly Candidate for South Wales West, who was at the meeting, said, “Creating a green open space in the middle of Sandfields will be very welcome, even though it’s only a temporary measure.

“Residents at the meeting expressed some concerns about the potential for anti-social behaviour, and it is to be hoped that these will be addressed by the Council and the Police. What we hope is that the space will become a place of recreation for local people, providing extra parkland and somewhere safe for children to play for a short time at least.

“Personally I would have preferred the area to be left as green space for local people, perhaps with a few allotments. But I understand there is a need for more housing in Swansea, particularly social and affordable housing. And that’s what local people asked for during the consultation last year; plus a new Community Centre.”

When The Vetch was first built the council compulsorily purchased land from the back gardens of local residents in order to create enough space for the ground. As part of the redevelopment Swansea Council has offered to sell back the compulsorily purchased land to the current owners of the properties affected.

Keith Ross continued, “We understand that Ward Councillors recommended that the land be returned to the current owners of the houses free of charge. This seems a very sensible proposal to me. It wouldn’t cost the Council anything to make this gesture, and would buy them and the contractors a great deal of goodwill. It would also compensate local residents for the noise and traffic disruption theyre going to have to suffer for several months as the ground is demolished.

“Its a win-win situation for the Council, and an opportunity not to be missed.”

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