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CHANGES to accessing public rights of way in and around the town of Ystradgynlais will be sent to the Planning Inspectorate for a decision.

Back in November 2020, Powys County Council’s planning, taxi licensing and rights of way committee agreed to a “tidying up exercise” with changes made to the routes of several paths and a bridleway in the region.

But due to an objection being made to the proposal the committee were informed that they needed to decide whether to abandon the orders or allow them to be decided by a planning inspector.

The council had proposed a creation order to move parts of footpath three, six and bridleway 75, while removing the old routes.

The paths are in an area known as the “haul road” of the former Brynhenllys opencast coal site in Ystradgynlais.

They had been described as a “useful network” of paths as they are close to Ystradgynlais on the edge of the Cwm-Twrch ward and the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Before the item was discussed Cllr Huw Williams, who represents Ystradgynlais declared an interest and left the meeting.

This was because he had supported the changes when they were discussed in November.

Countryside access and recreation officer, Sian Barnes said: “The orders were advertised together in February 2021.

“As well as site notices and those in the press, we also chose to send site photos of the existing and proposed routes to consultees and make the orders available on the internet.”

This had been done explained Ms Barnes, because the coronavirus lockdown regulations in force at the time, meant that unless consultees lived locally, they would not have been able to visit the area.

There had been no objections to the proposals before it had appeared in front of the planning committee in November, but that position had now changed after the proposals had been published and publicised.

“A single objection was made by Cllr Sandra Davies (Cwm-Twrch) who is an adjoining ward member,” said Ms Barnes.

Some of Cllr Davies’ objections were withdrawn following discussions with the department, but some issues remained.

Ms Barnes added that as the council had promoted the changes which are “felt to have significant benefits to the public” they would support the proposals when they go to the planning inspectorate.”

Ms Barnes said: “The recommendation is that the file be sent, along with an officer’s report supporting the orders to the Welsh Government so that it may be determined by the planning inspectorate.”

Councillors approved the recommendation unanimously.

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