I drove through the stormy evening to the Twelve Knights in Margam, where the campaign Save Morfa Beach had their public meeting. The group are both determined about keeping their paths open and knowledgeable about the history of access to the beach, which is leasehold to the Corus steelworks’ owners.
Neath Port Talbot council are proposing to extinguish Langlands Lane (in turquoise on the map) which gives access to the beach, divert footpath 93 away from the beach where it meets Langlands Lane and along a route without the views (from red to blue on map), and, more positively, create a path and bridge over the Kenfig river. This does not look as though it is in the public interest, and NPT have received over 350 objections.
I was there partly because of personal interest – I’ve walked and ridden there – and to represent Open Spaces Society, which could provide some advice and support (although these are sharp researchers and I learned lots there too).
Some oddities: rights for fishermen to beach-fish, rights of swimmers; the absense of documents for the old haul road which took stone from Connelly to the new harbour. Most of all, it’s the love of the coast which the Wales coastal path should, surely, be following?
A public inquiry will be held in early 2012. Meanwhile, the group’s facebook site and SwanseaTelly http://www.swanseatelly.org/ have lots of photos and videos to bring the beach to life.