Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Defend Holtsfield

Once again Holtsfield Community on the Gower Peninsula is under threat with an attempted eviction on Tuesday. Adam Johannes, from the Left Alternative (Roath Branch) reports.

A couple of years back, I had the great honour to visit Holtsfield as part of a day of cob-building. Cob-houses are a form of sustainable housing made from clay bricks. The clay means that the house is warm in winter meaning no need for heating, thus cutting down on energy bills, and lovely and cool in the summer. During my visit I also saw an organic farm and straw bale houses. But the jewel in the crown of Holtsfield is its low impact housing.

In secluded semi-woodland you will find a random settlement of almost thirty single storey chalets. Holtsfield is part of the heritage of South Wales. Originally holiday homes, the chalets were occupied by working class people who had their homes bombed during the war. The chalets are beautiful, and highly individual painted in different colours and made of timber and lightweight materials. Visitors always comment how they seem to melt into the landscape.

Since the hard times of the post-war period the community has developed a village like ambience and is home to people from many different walks of life and background.

Around 1990 things changed when, the freehold was bought by a Swansea development company, Elitestone Ltd. This has resulted in a longterm struggle by the company to evict the residents, harrass them and plans to move in rich people and build houses. The company also lobbied to overturn the designation of the area as a conservation area. Now they are planning to carry out evictions. We urge everybody who can make it to get down to Holtsfield.

Bonita James reports:

"On the Tuesday 14 October at half past 12 there is a planned eviction of number 9 Holtsfield.This is my mothers house and the house I grew up in.

Show your support and if you are able to turn up on the day to peacefully protest, your help would be much appreciated. We do not wish for any violent behaviour at all, we mainly want witnesses because last time the behaviour of the hired security was very heavy handed so the more people there to see it, the less likely it is someone will get hurt.The last time Tim Jones tried to evict was in 1998 and it was only avoided due to local community support on the day. As so much time has passed since then a lot of people are unaware that the threat of eviction is still present. All this group hopes to achieve is to gather support and inform people of the current circumstances."

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