The path to Morfa Beach at Margam has been saved from closure.
Tata Steel and Neath Port Talbot Council were proposing to close the path but objectors fought back at a public inquiry last month.
The inquiry inspector, Helen Slade, has now ruled that the path should not be extinguished. She said: “It is clear from the evidence that footpath 92 has been used by the public extensively in the past, and is still used, to gain access to Margam Sands, or Morfa Beach as it is also known.”
She said that stopping up the footpath would “cause considerable distress to a large number of people”. She noted that footpath 92 was suitable for push chairs and has a good surface for walkers.
Dr Jay Kynch, who represented the Open Spaces Society at the public inquiry, said: “I am delighted that we won. It has been a pleasure to help our member Save Morfa Beach, who ran an excellent campaign with massive support. The chair Charles Smith and secretary Bev Carver pulled together the voices of historians, surfers, anglers and many other friends and users of the footpath to Morfa Beach.
“It is also important that Neath Port Talbot councillors elected during this campaign are better placed to improve the decisions of their officers who were wrong to recommend closing the path.
“It is good to know that, thanks to all our efforts, the public can continue to use this direct path to the beach—one of the longest beaches in south Wales.”