The views of, and from, the Aqueduct in Chirk are due to be protected after ‘illegal’ felling of trees is going to be prevented.
There are two bridges in Chirk with one being the rail crossing and the other being the aqueduct - built by the legendary Thomas Telford.
In a historic book about the area it states “The Aqueduct is situated in a finely wooded valley, having Chirk Castle as an eminence immediately above it, with the Welsh Mountains and Glen Ceiriog as a background and the village of Chirk with Lord Dungannon’s Ceiriog Bridge occupying the intermediate space. These combined objects compose a landscape seldom surpassed.”
This landscape setting is the issue in a dispute over a patch of woodland sited to the left of the bridges if you were looking north.
The woodland was purchased by the resident above the plot, and was cleared to enhance their views of the architectural beauties – and the surrounding area – plus enhance the amount of sunlight they see.
In their letter to the Council they say “I am very disappointed to be informed of your proposal to place a preservation order on the land adjoining my house. I have recently purchased the adjoining land from the farmer, which has cost me £20,000. I have made the purchase solely to let sunlight into my home. I also wish to enjoy the fabulous views of the viaduct from my home. I have spent well in the excess of £150,000 on the renovation of my home.”
“I am keen to protect the natural environment and will maintain a healthy growth of trees on this land. I respectfully and strongly oppose the restriction of the order, in that I have no right to the view from my home”
The Council clarified its position to an objector saying: “As the felling of the trees was undertaken prior to the TPO being made, unfortunately no planning related legislation has been contravened. Clear felling of such a significant number of trees was in breach of the Forestry Act 1967, which is administered by Forestry Commission Wales. Unfortunately they have decided not to take action on this matter, apart from sending out warning letters to the farmer who sold the land that the trees were on and the new owner, who felled the trees. It should be noted that World Heritage Site status offers no legal protection to prevent the felling of trees.”
It is recommended that the preservation order is upheld, which will mean the woodland ought to return over time.
You can read the full report here.