Building on Anglesey common shows need for new local-authority duty on commons

24 July 2015

We are dismayed that Anglesey County Council has refused to take enforcement action against unlawful works on registered common land at Glanrafon, Llangoed.

In March this year we wrote to Mrs Dilys Lowe, the owner of common land at Glandwr Cottage, Glarafon, to ask her to stop building a bungalow on the common.  Mrs Lowe has not replied.

The diggers move in to destroy the common

The diggers move in to destroy the common

Mrs Lowe has planning permission but has been told by Anglesey County Council and others that is it unlawful unless she obtains the consent of the Welsh Ministers either for works on common land, or to exchange the common for other suitable land.  She apparently ignored this advice and sent in the diggers to start laying the foundations for her new house.  The work has stopped for the moment.

Anglesey County Council has the power to take enforcement action in defence of the common, but it has come up with a list of reasons for refusing to do so.

This demonstrates the lack of protection afforded to commons.  We shall ask Welsh Ministers to introduce a law giving local authorities a legal duty to act in defence of commons.

This would be a chance for Wales to show the way with a tough new law which will ensure that our unique heritage of commons is protected and celebrated.