We fight common-land swap at the Canyons

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© Copyright M J Roscoe and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence.

We have objected to an application from Peakman Ltd to remove part of Mynydd Llanhilleth Common from the common-land register. This popular common is near Abertillery in south Wales.

As part of its plan to extract aggregates from the nearby quarry, Peakman wants to widen the existing Blaen y Cwm road and create parking bays. Part of the road is common land and so it intends to deregister this stretch of common and in exchange provide as common land an area of boggy, rough, forestry land to the north. It has already put in an application for fencing of the common, to which the society and many local people have objected.

The society is notified of all such applications and has objected, along with many others. Walkers and horse-riders have rights of access over the common and the society considers that their enjoyment will be reduced, and that the road widening will adversely affect the landscape, encourage faster driving and put walkers and riders at risk.

Says Maggie Thomas, Torfaen local correspondent for the society: ‘We strongly oppose the intended works here. This is quiet countryside and walkers and riders have the right to enjoy the whole common. In particular, the Canyons is a much-loved local spot and a green lung for those living in the nearby towns. The proposed replacement common is of no value for public enjoyment; the applicants admit that it is uneven ground with fallen trees, and it is not pleasant for walking or riding.’

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