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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 November 2005, 12:15 GMT
Relative's fury at graveyard plan
Elfed Cornelius
It will upset a lot of people
Elfed Cornelius
A former soldier is opposing plans to build a play area on a derelict chapel cemetery, where more than a dozen of his relatives are buried.

Swansea Housing Association is behind the plans for the site next to the old Babell Chapel in Cwmdu.

It said it would not disturb the 800 graves, and memorials that can be moved will form a garden of remembrance.

But Elfed Cornelius, 82, said he was appalled as his parents and infant son are among family buried there.

He is one of a number of people with relatives at the site who are opposed to the scheme.

The housing association has started a consultation on plans for four homes on the site of the chapel, which has long been demolished.

Part of the graveyard off Carmarthen Road would become a play area for a nearby school and it would also create a garden of remembrance at the site.

Babell Chapel graveyard
There are around 800 graves in the former chapel cemetery

Some of the gravestones have been pushed over or broken while others were so old, the association said they were unsafe.

A spokesman said the area had become an eyesore and attracted vandals.

"We do not propose to remove or disturb any remains what so ever," he added.

He said any gravestones or monuments that could be relocated safely to the garden of remembrance would be preserved.

But Mr Cornelius, of Clydach, said: "The area does need tidying up. It's a very difficult subject because who is there after my generation to look after it now the chapel has gone?

"But there is still a lot of space for houses without building here and there is a park with sports fields very near the school.

"There are so many people who have family connections with Babell Chapel. It will upset a lot of people."

Swansea Housing Association said it had started a two-month statutory consultation exercise and welcomed relatives' comments.

The spokesman added it aimed to proceed by causing as little distress to relatives as possible.

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