Objectors ready for key step in battle to keep path open
OBJECTORS are preparing to fight to save a Port Talbot footpath from closure.
The Open Spaces Society, Britain's oldest national conservation body, is among the objectors to the proposed extinguishment of most of Longlands Lane, Margam, and the diversion of the Wales Coastal Path inland beside a railway line and goods yard.
There is to be a public inquiry into these proposed path changes, to be held at the Orangery in Margam Country Park, from 10am on Tuesday.
Jay Kynch, Open Spaces Society's representative at the inquiry, said: "We are strongly opposed to the loss of the shortest path to Morfa Beach. Longlands Lane is a really popular route.
"The objectors' case looks good, thanks to the campaigners' knowledge, serious digging into documents and Freedom of Information requests.
"The community group, Save Morfa Beach (Friends of Morfa), has engaged Neil Jacobi, a solicitor with experience of rights-of-way cases."
Save Morfa Beach chairman, Charles Smith, said: "We are looking forward to Mr Jacobi's forensic cross-examination of Neath Port Talbot Council's evidence. We believe that, given a fair hearing, our evidence against these path changes will win the day."
Mr Kynch added: "It is important for people who care about these routes to make their presence felt and heard. They know about the paths — so come to the inquiry, and to the inquiry walk."
The walk, starting from the railway crossing on Longlands Lane (footpath 92), will be held on Monday at 10am. In a previous statement, council head of planning Nicola Pearce said: "We will be preparing the case on behalf of the council for presentation at that inquiry."