Campaigners are urging a Welsh council to take action after common land was bulldozed.

A track has been carved out by a landowner near Pen y Ddoyga Farm, Abersychan, Pontypool. The Open Spaces Society (OSS) says the work is illegal and Torfaen council should act to stop the further damage to the site.

Kate Ashbrook, OSS general secretary, said: “This is doubly unlawful. Not only does Mr Davies [the landowner] not have planning consent, he also does not have permission from the National Assembly for Wales under section 194 of the Law of Property Act 1925 for works on common land. 

“The assembly will only grant consent if such works are ‘of benefit to the neighbourhood’.  Clearly, in this case, the works are of only private benefit.

“Mr Davies should have gone through the proper procedures before bulldozing his track. He is creating an unsightly scar on the lovely, natural common and his works are more extensive than those in the planning application. 

“However, Torfaen County Borough Council has powers to take action against unlawful works on commons.

“It should exercise those powers now, to show Mr Davies that he cannot get away with this, and as a lesson to others who think they can abuse common land.

“Commons are very special places, which have remained unchanged through history and are rich in wildlife.  The public has the right to walk on every common in England and Wales under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. 

“Recently the Westminster government passed the Commons Act 2006, which applies in Wales and England, because it recognises the unique nature of our commons. We hope Torfaen will act swiftly to ensure that the common at Pen y Ddoyga Farm is reinstated.