We have objected to a planning application on a common at Mynydd Bodrochwyn, Llanfair Talhaiarn, five miles south of Abergele in Conwy.
The application, from Mr Norman Frost, is for a museum and car-park. The North Wales Ramblers are among the objectors.
The Open Spaces Society has pointed out that, since the land affected is registered common land (CL104), any works here would be unlawful without additional consent. The environment minister would need to grant permission for deregistration of the common and its exchange for land which is of equal benefit to the public and others with rights there. The applicant has made no such offer.
Moreover, the public has rights to walk over the whole area and the development would interfere with those rights. It is also likely that there are rights to ride, since the previous owner, the Crown Estate Commissioners, made a deed giving rights to walk and ride on this common which appears to be extant.
A public footpath (Llanfair Talhaiarn number 37) crosses the site and would need to be legally diverted, but the owner has made no attempt to do this either.
Says our general secretary Kate Ashbrook: ‘This planning application is a shambles. The applicant must surely be aware that the land is registered common and therefore that the public has rights of access here, and that the land is crossed by a public footpath. These cannot be cast aside: the applicant needs to make provision for them, preferably before seeking planning permission and wasting everyone’s time on a fruitless application.
‘Not only will the development be an abuse of the common and the footpath, it will also be an eyesore on this lovely open hillside which is visible from some distance, including from the hills south of the River Elwy.
‘We trust that Mr Frost will withdraw his application and not waste any more of Conwy Council’s time—or that of the objectors.’