Plaid councillor raises concern that future of Penyrheol common at risk



The common above Penyrheol is at risk because it is being abused, Plaid Cymru ward councillor Steve Skivens fears.

The Penyrheol councillor, a former Assistant Chief Fire Officer for South Wales, says that heavy lorries carrying environment waste are using Eglwysilan Common while motor bikers are scarring ancient pathways.

He says action needs to be taken by the authorities to preserve the land which covers Penyrheol, Abertridwr and Senghenydd  for future generations.

Steve Skivens said: “The Common has been an accessible open space for people to enjoy for decades. It supports varied wildlife, grazing areas, an ancient pathway, forestry and an ancient historical site –Sengenhydd Dyke – plus other natural features.

“There has been over usage by motor bikes in a uncontrolled manner. While heavy goods vehicles trundle fully loaded onto the mountain, sometimes for days and at all hours. These fully laden vehicles carry about 20 tons in load. Often, they are marked as environmental waste, some carry hazardous chemical signage. They return nosily and very fast along Heol Las, creating a dangerous situation for this narrow minor road. Near misses have become a regular hazard.

“A local resident runs a log and in a single period logged 10 vehicles per day for three weeks. This means some 4,200 tons of stuff taken up on the mountain in a single period. This has been repeated several times for years.

“Access to the common has been restricted by holes and troughs being cut or debris piled up to obstruct. Loose dogs have been observed which are aggressive and children have been chased from the area. A business involving skips was shut down in the past not having the necessary permissions.”

Councillor Skivens added: “The ancient pathways, dyke and general area are being damaged and scarred; perhaps irreparably.

“This was a non-industrialised area, but not today. It is not a suitable location to run a heavy commercialised operation from.

“The Common should be accessible, available and unfettered for this generation and the next!”