Councillors support plans for folk music festival at Gower's Weobley Castle.
PLANS for a folk festival on Gower could yet go ahead — after councillors voted in favour of the event next to Weobley Castle.
Educational charity Folk Camps Society submitted plans to stage the folk festival at the site, which would run for four weeks, with no more than 120 campers each week.
They claim the festival would bring an estimated £60,000 into the local economy, but council officers recommended the application was turned down, on the grounds it would have a detrimental visual impact on Gower's status as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and that it would set an "undesirable" precedent.
Folk Camps Society co-ordinator Michael Green told members of Swansea Council's Area 2 planning committee: "We are about heritage and tradition, to preserve English and other folk music, dance and song, and encourage practice of them.
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"There are no visual horrors, but harmless activities and practise in the way they have been for centuries."
The application was supported by Gower councillor Richard Lewis, who said: "This is not a huge number of people.
"Gower brings in a huge amount of money in tourism, and if we are not careful, people will stop coming.
"It will bring people from outside Wales, and I think we should approve it if we are serious about keeping tourism trade going. I hope they come and have a good time — I see nothing wrong with it."
Penllegaer councillor Wendy Fitzgerald said: "I have a certain sympathy with this application.
"It is short term, and it looks modest in the way in which it is managed."
And Dunvant councillor John Newbury added: "I am disappointed this has been recommended for refusal.
"There is a vibrant music scene in Swansea, and this is a great opportunity.
"We do not want to make the mistake of bowing to a few that have killed off music events in Swansea because they can't take a bit of music for a day or two."
Councillors voted against officers' recommendation the application be approved, and it will now be reviewed by the development and management control committee in March.