|| Aberdaron Footpath - right to roam after substancial public funding?|
I know it's paraphrasing, but since it raises some salient points, and came attached with a petition regarding the 'footpath' signed by virtualy ALL the Deunant area residents.
Here is a virtually full transcript of a letter that was sent to Aberdaron Tourism Commitee recently -
"In February 2005 the Welsh Tourist board presented research during at a meeting in Pwllheli which showed that whilst beach attractions declined due to the advent cheap packaged holiday, Wales was becoming the focus of more activity based breaks which tied in with the Council's strategy of developing cycle ways and footpaths. The figures were interesting; the average holidaymaker spent £27 per day whereas the people partaking in activities tended to be of a higher social group, spending approximately £40 per head per day. Walkers are estimated to contribute £450 million per year to the Welsh economy.
With the creation of the Pen Llyn long distance coastal footpath, there are incentives for the tourist committee to improve activity based amenities. Currently, there are several small items which cumulatively give the village a slightly unkempt feel, creating the impression that Aberdaron is not keen to attract visitors such as:
* Litter that been around for weeks both in the village and on the beach (including the bathing safety buoys)
* Rusty, redundant road sign poles
* A scruffy area by the Gegin where the 2nd postbox used to be
* The footpath to Porth Simmde being closed
I am sure the committee will agree that with such overwhelming local support (please see attached map), designating the track to Porth Simdde a public footpath will be a good asset to the Village and a boost to tourism. When the tide is out, it would make an excellent addition to the Llyn Peninsular Coastal Path saving a section of road walking.
As an example, recently I met a man who struggled over the gate nearly injuring himself. It turned out he was a keen walker, a retired solicitor from Chester and regular visitor. He reckoned he could sue for any sustained injury as public use had been legally established between 1974 and 2001, particularly as the landowner knew it was in public use when purchased. He vowed never to come to Aberdaron again.
Naturally, the landowner may wish to object so it may take time to progress through to the National Assembly before being ratified. However after due consideration of the best interests of the Village, if he is agreeable to the Creation Order, the process could be reduced to a few months thus minimising his risk of exposure to personal injury claims and benefiting the community. To allay concerns, the Council have indicated that they are prepared to erect a kissing gate to protect livestock and add dog control signs.
If they are agreeable, perhaps the Tourism Committee could help expedite this process by posting a small news item on the village website, perhaps worded:
Footpath to Porth Simdde beach to be made Public Right of Way
The majority of local residents in Deunant area of the village plus several frequent visitors are concerned about loss of beach access since 2001 and a public petition has been raised to designate this track as an official footpath. The petition currently stands at 81 signatories, each confirming they have regularly used the path for over 20 years. On 2nd June 2005, the Gwynedd Council Countryside and Access Team gave it a favourable reception.
The legal documents to compile an Application for a Modification Order Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 are in the process of being complied and served upon the landowner. With such overwhelming local support, it is only a matter of time before it becomes designated a Public Right of Way and added to the Definitive County Map.
The full petition is available as a downloadable .pdf file click here
Section 31 of the 1980 Act provides:
"Where a way over any land, other than a way of such a character that use of it by the public could not give rise at common law to any presumption of dedication, has been actually enjoyed by the public as of right and without interruption for a full period of 20 years, the way is to be deemed to have been dedicated as a highway unless there is sufficient evidence that there was no intention during that period to dedicate it.
For the future, (certainly not this year) and only if the Tourism Committee, Community Council and Utility companies think that it is an acceptable idea, a possible further area of assistance could be trying to persuade Scottish Power and BT to bury their cables and at the same time asking the Council if they would be agreeable to improving the street lighting.
During the winter storms, it was technically interesting to observe arcing and flashover of the 11kV transformers and the ageing, leaning 415v distribution poles, but the consequent power outages were a real inconvenience. At the Queens design exhibit by Hugh Owen, some people mentioned the glaring street lighting. The present monochromatic, wide scatter, sodium lighting is set for urban switching levels around 75lux. Modern street lighting designs focus all light downwards, use full spectrum white light, consume half the power and are set around 10lux saving approximately 40 minutes of unnecessary operation per day.
Eliminating the poles and cables would enhance the appearance of the village making it more appealing to tourists, but more importantly; improve the reliability of our winter power supplies.
To conclude on the footpath, there are several aggrieved residents in Rhiw and the US contingent at Rhianfa has not yet arrived so probably the petition will attain 100 signatories before all the legal documents are compiled.
In view of the foregoing, perhaps you would be good enough to consider this request to post the petition on the website for public information.
My regards to you
Click here to see the Petition
and also, this was sent to the council- Submission to Gwynedd council
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