A former county councillor has urged local authorities to move swiftly to reopen a Clydach picnic area that has closed off for years to local residents and visitors.

Over the last seven years the Clydach picnic area and car park has been used by Costain for storage during works on the nearby A465 road.

Residents of Clydach and Llanelly Hill were told that the area would be returned for public use with enhanced landscaping allowing an attractive wildlife haven to be built for local residents and the visitors to enjoy.

However, the area remains closed off to the public, and residents now want to know when the important industrial heritage area will be reopened for public use.

Monmouthshire County Council will be responsible for re-opening the site, as well as the landscaping plans for the wildlife haven – although the site currently remains in ownership by Welsh Government and Costain, having been temporarily taken under the Compulsory Purchase Order for the A465 road construction works over seven years ago.

Once reinstatement works that are still currently taking place are completed, the site will be returned to the ownership of Monmouthshire County Council.

Jane Pratt who lives in the Llanelly Hill area previously sat as a Monmouthshire councillor and served as cabinet member for infrastructure and neighbourhood services, .

She is now calling on the council to intervene and return the site to public use as quickly as possible.

She told The Chronicle, “For the past nine years the residents of Clydach and Llanelly Hill have been without their picnic area and car park near the Clydach Ironworks.

“It is about time Monmouthshire County Council, that are responsible for these areas got their act together and finished the job.

“The people of Clydach have suffered enough over the past nine years during the roadbuilding with increased traffic and noise dust, and the continuing loss of amenity is inexcusable.”

In response to the matter, a spokesperson for Monmouthshire County Council said: “It is still our intention to undertake further landscape improvements on the site, but that is dependent on additional grant aid being confirmed from Welsh Government.

“We have submitted a project proposal and anticipate a decision from Welsh Government in the near future.

“If approved that will support further improvements to the car park and picnic area, and associated countryside access improvements in the Clydach Gorge in partnership with Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.

“If approved we anticipate the further improvements to the car park and picnic site will be carried out in Summer 2023.”