Miskin village green bid to save fields from housing fails

Cefn yr Hendy fields, with Llantrisant in the background
Image caption Campaigners said local people had used the fields near Llantrisant for decades

A bid to stop houses being built on fields by getting the land designated as a village green has been rejected.

The application for Cefn Yr Hendy fields in Miskin was made in 2017 before plans for 460 houses were approved by Rhondda Cynon Taf council.

Campaigners claimed the land had been used "as of right" by local people for more than 20 years.

However, the Welsh Government, as the majority landowner, objected and an inspector has ruled in its favour.

Campaign group Friends of Cefn Yr Hendy made the bid for village green status, saying the land was used for pastimes including walking, playing and exploring nature.

The application said: "The fields are very important to residents of Miskin, who wish to protect their rights to the land, upon which many have enjoyed access as of right currently and previously."

A public inquiry was held in March where inspector Michael Bedford QC took evidence from both sides, followed by a site visit in April.

Mr Bedford has now ruled it had not been demonstrated on the balance of probabilities that a significant number of Miskin residents had been involved in sports and pastimes on the land for at least 20 years.

Friends of Cefn Yr Hendy told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the outcome was "disappointing" for villagers, but members remained hopeful that Welsh ministers would "pay more than lip service" to its declaration of a climate emergency and the need to preserve green fields for future generations.

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