The world-class Welsh view, the shed and the row that’s erupted in Rhossili

It’s one of the most photographed views in the country and one of the most glorious anywhere in the world.

But according to one resident of a Gower village, that view of the spectacular Rhossili Bay was under threat – from a shed.

It’s not often that sheds become big bones of contention, but putting one in Rhossili most certainly has.

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The shed was proposed on a small strip of land, which for many years used to be a bus depot, near St Mary’s Church. The narrow plot is part of a wider chunk of greenery which leads visitors’ eyes to the magnificent bay beyond.

Applicant Brian Bond, who owns the strip of land but doesn’t live in the Gower village, wanted the storage building for tools to maintain the plot, plus for surfboards and wetsuits but not a water bike.

He contended that a shed in the corner nearest the church would not obstruct views across the bay, and that he planned to plant a wildflower hedge around it. The 8ft by 11ft shed – with a Dutch barn-style roof had been chosen to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible, he added.

But the owner of the adjacent farm property, Daniel Jones, objected to the proposal. He argued that it would interrupt the view to the bay for people arriving in the village.

“This proposal to plonk a shed in the middle of that arrival view is disgraceful,” he said in an email to Swansea Council’s planning department.

Mr Jones was also concerned that the shed could be a “holiday get-away” in disguise.

The shed was planned at the far end of the narrow strip of land with concrete bollards around it
(Image: Richard Youle)
The privately-owned strip of land where the shed was planned
(Image: Richard Youle)

Mr Bond then suggested in response that Mr Jones didn’t live in Rhossili either, and that the view of the bay which the shed might affect had been screened by a building on Mr Jones’ land.

Rhossili Community Council and the Gower Society also objected.

Swansea Council turned the shed application down, saying it was an inappropriate development which would harm the Rhossili Conservation Area and adversely affect the setting of the grade two-listed church.

The case was then heard by a Welsh Government-appointed planning inspector after Mr Bond appealed the decision.

Mr Bond’s appeal statement said: “As far as I am aware there has been no objections from any private resident who lives within Rhossili, and the residents I have spoken to while visiting have been supportive and were keen to see the plot looking attractive with flower etc rather than how it looks currently, which is unsightly brambles.”

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But planning inspector PJ Davies dismissed the appeal.

The timber shed, she said, would be a “patent contrast” to St Mary’s Church and other nearby buildings.

Her decision said: “The proposed building would not be an especially large one but having regard to its visually jarring design, and relative to the small and contained parcel of land it would be situated on, it would appear as a bulky and unsympathetic addition to the site.”

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WalesOnline – Swansea