Artist feels he's getting the brush-off over ban on sales
AN aggrieved artist claims he has been victimised by Swansea Council after being told he can't sell his paintings at a popular Mumbles spot.
Paul Smith said he was told he needed planning permission for two pasting tables at Knab Rock, near Verdi's cafe, where he has sold his work at busy times of the tourist season for some 15 years.
But the council, which owns the land in question, said it wrote to Mr Smith in 2011 saying the pitch would not be available because new offices and toilets were being built there as part of a wider watersports strategy.
A council spokesman said Mr Smith would not get the required change of use planning permission for that site, but that he had been offered a pitch elsewhere.
Mr Smith responded that the pitch in question — the car park at the bottom of Sketty Lane — was no good for his paintings of the Mumbles foreshore and pier.
"My friends and family were laughing about that," said Mr Smith, of Penclawdd.
He added: "I cannot fathom the council's mentality. They seem to be victimising me. I am only trying to make a living."
The 53-year-old said he used to sell up to seven paintings in a week at Knab Rock. He said he now sells what he can in Penclawdd.
The father-of-two has brought the matter up with the constituency office of Gower AM Edwina Hart, and said he was not going to back down.
A council spokesman said it had been working with Mr Smith to find a suitable alternative site, and welcomed further discussions.
He said: "Knab Rock is part of a wider plan to develop the location as a centre of excellence for watersports."
He added: "It is the case that any business trading on land for more than 28 days in a calendar year, small or large, requires planning permission for a change of use."