The honeymoon of the Church Village bypass may soon be over as new housing adds hundreds of car journeys. Of course, this also should mean that footpaths across fields become, hopefully, wide and pleasant green lanes, maybe shared routes with cycles and horse riders. (Sadly, horses are often relegated to sharing roads with cars.)
It is a quick walk from Efail Isaf where I live to the Co-op on the old main road in Tonteg by walking along the community path beside the bypass and over the fields on Footpath 48 – across the area in the middle of the photo below (taken from the bridge over the bypass).
An application is being considered for 282 houses on parts of these fields. I’ve seen some machines on the land and thought I should get some photos now. Properly planned, the houses should have a good view towards the Garth (below), and residents could use the community path and rights of way already on the ground to access schools, or valleys trains and cycleways to work.
Footpath 48 runs off the community path by an old railway bridge – I used to ride my old horse Morgan along here when it was disused railway line, and on the fields. It is a fine stone and brick-arched bridge.
The path goes across the stream, Nant Dowlais, and this land is not part of the planning application. A new path is being made off to the left, where there will be houses, while footpath 48 goes straight.
Builders’ rubble has been used to harden up the old path through a gate and into an open field. With birds singing, a flurry of snow and the traffic being faint; it is a little bit of peace despite shops and roads within a few hundred yards.
It will all look much greener once the spring gets here, at least for this year.