Millionaire supermarket tycoon, 67, loses battle to cut down protected trees in nature reserve around his £2.5m home – to save himself a two-mile drive to his stables
- Supermarket shop baron Chris Kiley, 67, wanted to create shortcut to his stables
- He claimed 12 trees would be felled at £2.5million home on the Gower in Wales
- Planners told the new 98-metre track would save Kiley a two-mile trip at home
- Council officers rejected the bid after more than 150 public objections to plan
- The fallout marks latest installment in saga of Kiley’s battle with local residents
A millionaire has lost a battle to cut down protected trees at his beauty spot home – to save himself a two-mile drive to his stables.
Supermarket chain owner Chris Kiley, 67, wanted to axe the woodland to make a track through the nature reserve around his home that overlooks Caswell Bay on the Gower, South Wales.
Mr Kiley told planners the 98-metre track would link his home with a small-holding on his land where he keeps horses and stables.
But council officers rejected the bid – saying there was no reasonable justification after more than 150 objections.
Supermarket chain owner Chris Kiley, 67, planned to fell 12 ‘small to medium’ trees at his home to create a two-mile shortcut to his stables
Mr Kiley bought the £2.5million home with wife Alice, 32, a former Miss Great Britain entrant who appeared on the TV cooking contest Masterchef in 2013 – but the couple have since split up.
The house overlooks Caswell Bay on the Gower Peninsula which was designated the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty meaning planning projects in such areas require extra permissions.
Mr Kiley’s planning statement said 12 ‘small to medium’ trees would need to be felled for the track but he promised to replace them.
The millionaire’s £2.5million home on the Gower, South Wales faces extra planning permission requirements as it is an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’
It added: ‘Access tracks are common features in countryside locations such as this and the development is considered a modest addition which will have an acceptable impact on the wider Gower AONB.’
He wanted the track because it now meant a two-mile car journey from his home to get to the fields, horses and stables above the woodland.
Among the 154 objections were Bishopston Community Council who said the track was not needed as there was already a path running alongside it.
The group also said the plans were ‘environmentally unacceptable’ because of the damage to trees and wildlife.
Preservation group The Gower Society also objected to the proposals saying they had a ‘possible undesirable impact upon the AONB and the prominent coastal slope’.
Swansea Council rejected his bid saying the planned track had ‘excessive width’ and would harm the rural character of the site.
Mr Kiley (pictured) had previously fallen out with some neighbours and planners by intending to demolish the house to build a modern ‘Grand Designs’ style home in its grounds
His luxurious mansion overlooks the beautiful Caswell Bay on the Gower in South Wales
It said that because of the existing path they could not grant permission because ‘no reasonable justification or need’ had been shown.
Previously, Mr Kiley faced the fury of neighbours who alleged that trees were being illegally cut down in the Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which was the first AONB designated in Britain in 1956.
They also complained that Mr Kiley and his friends were reportedly using the grounds as a ‘racing track’ for off-road bikes.
He had already fallen out with some residents and planners by intending to demolish his house to build a modern ‘Grand Designs’ style home in its place.
The supermarket millionaire wanted a huge open plan living area downstairs and Mr Kiley, who owns 31-strong supermarket chain CK Foodstore, said the home would fit ‘seamlessly’ into the character of the seafront.
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