Disappointment as mining pioneer loses Mumbles chalet battle
A MINERS' leader who headed a successful bid to take over a coal mine has lost the latest battle in his long-running fight to live permanently in his Mumbles holiday chalet.
Tyrone O'Sullivan, chairman of Tower Colliery in the Cynon Valley, has been living in Langcliffe Park. However, a restricted occupancy condition means he and wife Elaine can only stay there 10 months of the year.
He had applied to Swansea Council to have the condition lifted, allowing him to stay there year round.
It was initially approved by Swansea Councillors at an earlier meeting, who went against a recommendation by officers
But the application has now been rejected by a separate committee of councillors.
Mr O'Sullivan said: "If it wasn't suitable as a full-time home I wouldn't have applied. I am disappointed by the decision."
Mr O'Sullivan led a workers' buy-out of Tower Colliery in 1994, following its closure by John Major's Government, when miners invested their redundancy money to get the pit working again.
Swansea Council turned down his application to live year round in the holiday chalet on the grounds it would set an "undesirable precedent". Planning officers said it would be difficult to turn down future bids if Mr O'sullivan's was accepted, and to do so could impact on tourism, with chalets not being used for their intended purpose as holiday homes.
Mr O'Sullivan said his proposal would contribute to the local stock of affordable housing, and he would continue his fight.
He said he plans to stay in another chalet on the site for the two months he is not allowed to live in his, but leave clothes and other belongings in his chalet.
"I have another chalet I can stay in, but will not be moving my clothing. I will have to use mine as a wardrobe and go and fetch them.
"Properties are so expensive in Mumbles, but if people were able to live all year in these chalets, then young families would be able to get on the property ladder."
The chalets are priced at around £90,000. Council officers said lifting the restriction would mean the chalets not being used for their intended purpose as holiday homes.
A spokesman for Swansea Council said: "Owners of holiday chalets can make an application to vary the months in which the 10-month occupancy rule applies."