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Vol. 23, 1972

Chairman's Commentary

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that as any major improvement in existing roads would do serious harm
to the landscape there is no real solution to Gower's traffic problem. But
it recommends that no more static caravan or chalet sites should be
permitted within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and that while
discussions on providing inland sites for touring caravans are in progress,
no more touring caravans should be allowed, except at Porteynon, where
applications will be considered on their merits. As for residential develop-
ment, the report proposes that no more land should be released for this
purpose unless it can be shown that it will make a positive contribution to
the character and beauty of an existing village, or is essential to local needs.
These and other main recommendations have been fully endorsed by
the Gower Society, which has responded to the County Council's request
to submit its observations on the report. But the document, as its title
shows, is only a strategy. How far the recommendations will be realised it
is impossible to say, especially with local authority changes in prospect.
Despite this enlightened declaration of intent-and it can be no more than
that-despite designation and planning powers, nothing is certain in
Gower, except that in an age of increasing leisure the pressures on it will
grow. Gwent's cautionary comment, "we have a long way to go before
Gower will be safe", is as true today as it was a quarter of a century ago.
Conservation Year was not Conversion Year. Perhaps the biggest
enemy of conservation is public apathy-the failure of ordinary
people to realise the vulnerability of coastlands and countryside to the
pressures of modern living, and the vital importance of preserving amen-
ities in the public interest. One of the most persistent threats to conserv-
ation is the unconscious vandalism of the thoughtless. Conservation can
only be achieved through education and communication, and in that
activity the Gower Society must continue to play an important part.
The End of an Elegant House
THE END CAME, in the summer months of 1971, for one of the most
elegant and interesting of the old houses of the Swansea area. I had taken
some photographs of Gwernllwynchwyth, near Llansamlet, during the Sum-
mer of 1970, when the house was little more than a half-burnt and derelict
shell. When I arrived at the same spot to take colour slides in August 1971
it had been entirely demolished, for it stood within yards of the new motor-
way now ploughing its way westward from Llwynbrwydrau to Llangy-
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