A £130 million housing development is to go ahead in Swansea after the Welsh Government decided not to call it in.
Up to 850 houses are earmarked for fields at Parc Mawr, Penllergaer, despite hundreds of objections.
Swansea Council’s planning committee voted in favour of the Bellway Homes application in July but there was a holding direction at the time, meaning that approval could not formally be granted.
Now the Welsh planning directorate has, on behalf of ministers, decided the project should not be called in.
The scheme before the planning committee was an outline application for up to 850 homes, to be delivered in phases, and a detailed planning application for 184 of them.
Bellway Homes claimed the scheme would deliver 20% affordable housing, plus a new school, sports pitches and play areas, allotments and walking and cycling routes.
More than 700 objectors opposed it, having thought the land would be safe from development following a previous planning inquiry, in which the council successfully fought to protect it.
Penllergaer councillor Wendy Fitzgerald said there was anger in the community about the latest decision not to call it in.
“We are extremely disappointed in my ward with this outcome,” she said.
She insisted residents’ objections had not been properly addressed during the planning process.
Referring to the planning inquiry from a decade ago, said: “No-one has ever really explained why there was such a volte face.”
Council planning officers recommended the Bellway Homes development for approval when it went before the planning committee. The site in question has been earmarked for housing in the latest development plan for Swansea. The loss of agricultural land was considered to be justified.
A new link road from Parc Mawr to the main road to the north – the A4240 – is to be built when the 185th house is occupied. Other new accesses are to be created onto the A483 to the east, and the A484 to the south, at later stages.
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Bellway Homes must sign a legal agreement with the council to guarantee its planning obligations.
The Welsh planning directorate considered several call-in reasons but judged that council officers had assessed the application against relevant policies and given reasoned conclusions.
The decision letter said: “The application does not raise novel planning issues and there are no other relevant issues raised.”
Regional MS Suzy Davies described the outcome as “very disappointing and upsetting news for residents”.
Many new homes, she said, have been built in Penllergaer in recent years – such as Bellway’s Parc Penderri, which also faced widespread opposition.
The Welsh Conservative MS added: “Allowing up to another 850 houses to go on this top-class farmland adds to the cumulative impact of all these new homes.”
Bellway Homes was asked if it wished to comment on the decision not to call in its scheme.