Despite objections, we were disappointed that Caerphilly Council’s planners recommended approval of plans for Ruperra which - as well as the heritage and nature conservation issues - ignored the public right of way that we have been waiting patiently to be re-opened. We still await Welsh Government’s decision on whether to call in one or more of the applications for its own determination.
Public right of way LLanfedw FP1 goes through the Castle grounds between the locked gates at the North to the South of the site (purple line on image on the left). This path forms part of the Rhymney River Circular walk, which is enjoyed by many. To continue the walk, walkers must currently take a path outside the west wall of the Castle grounds which is very steep and uneven at one end, with the other end being very muddy in the winter.
Welsh Government planning guidance for local authorities states the need for adequate consideration of the rights of way before the decision on a planning application is taken; and the need, once planning permission has been granted, for the right of way to be kept open and unobstructed unless the statutory procedures authorising closure or diversion have been completed.
LLanfedw FP1 wasn’t indicated on any of the proposed site plans (latest site plan - image on the right). Despite objections being made to this there was not adequate consideration given to it so that walkers can navigate it safely. The gates approved are not permitted on a public right of way. They would act as a physical and psychological deterrent to walkers.
There are currently ‘holding directions’ on these applications while the Welsh Government decide whether to call them in for their own determination. Holding directions are issued infrequently and indicate that the proposed development is likely to raise planning issues of more than local importance.
We believe there are very good grounds to call in the applications for a national decision as they:
Find out more about Rhymney River Circular walk and visiting the area
One of our volunteers has put in an application with Caerphilly Borough County Council to amend the definitive map to recognise the footpath along the west side of the Castle wall as a public right of way - highlighted pink in the image.
Many people think this is already a public right of way, but the actual public right of way goes through the Castle grounds - highlighted green in the image.
If we are successful, amending the definitive map to recognise the footpath along the west side of the Castle wall will ensure that future generations can continue to walk this path regardless of land ownership.
We need your help
This application needs to be supported by evidence including witness statements, photos, and maps, that prove the footpath on the outside of the west side of the Castle has been in use for more than 20 years since the application was put in on the 7 March 2022:
Thank you to our members that have already sent in evidence.