12:01pm Thursday 17th October 2013 in Letters
Following the visit to Clyn-yr-Ynys Farm and Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park by eight officials representing Ceredigion County Council (6 council officers and 2 Natural Resources Wales (CCW) officers) on Tuesday 8th October, we received an email from Claire Goodman of Ceredigion County Council on Tuesday 15th October. Ceredigion County Council now inform us that "after various surveys of the route it is considered that some minor diversion in 3 locations would make the route more convenient, commodious and enjoyable for the public. Consequently the council are putting forward these proposals to divert the footpath under Section 119 of the Highways Act 1980 in 3 locations described below".
The 'minor diversion' of the public footpath on our land alone amounts to a total of around 670 metres. How on earth can this be a minor diversion? There is a further 100 metres to be diverted on the cliff-top land of the adjoining Nant-y-Croi Farm. However none of this path can be diverted because a public footpath must first be on the ground and in a fit state to be walked by the public before it can be diverted. Besides, we have fought a public path creation order for 6 years since March 2007 and this creation order has been confirmed by planning inspector Allan Blackley in a public inquiry; by High Court Judge Patrick Curran in the High Court in Cardiff; by the Royal Courts of Justice in London and by the Court of Appeal sitting in Cardiff in 2010. Now Ceredigion County Council wish to alter that confirmed route by a full 670 metres. This makes a mockery of justice and completely exonerates what I have been claiming for 7 years; that it is impossible to create a public footpath on the route specified in the creation order. The planning inspector, High Court Judge and Appeal Court Judges never visited the most dangerous section of the footpath route, nor did all but one of our county councillors. However the documented evidence of the idiocy of this path was presented to the public inquiry and courts both on maps and photographs, so it should have been abundantly clear that the footpath could not have been created here.
It is noted that the new maps for the diversion orders are on correct 1:1250 and 1:2500 scales, not the illegal 1:5000 scale initially implemented by the council. 1:1250 is no less than 8 times the magnification of 1:5000, and 1:2500 is four times the magnification. There is no mention by the council of the High Court judgement by Judge Curran, which insisted on a 2 metre safety margin between the cliff-top path and cliff edge, or the fact that part of the path was depicted in fresh air over the edge of a 150 foot crumbling cliff. They merely say that the diverted route is "more convenient, commodious and enjoyable for the public." They should also have said that the route they have supported through the courts for 6 years was illegal, impractical and horrendously dangerous.
We will fiercely resist any diverted route. Ceredigion County Council has made a mockery of the law!
Clyn yr Ynys