Calls for solution to address ‘missing link’ along Flintshire coastal path
Calls have been made for a solution to fix the “missing link” in a path which runs along the Flintshire coastline.
It follows senior councillors backing proposals to improve access and create jobs in communities along the Dee estuary by creating a coastal park.
The county’s coastline stretches for approximately 25 miles, most of which forms part of the Wales Coast Path.
However, there is currently a gap in the trail between Connah’s Quay and Flint, where walkers and cyclists are forced to divert along the busy A548 before returning to the coast.
Flintshire Council leader Ian Roberts now wants to see plans drawn up to address the situation after a previous bid to create a boardwalk was rejected.
The Labour politician said the decision was taken due to concerns about the impact on birds which live on the estuary.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting held yesterday (Tuesday, 18 January), he said: “One of the key issues which we all need to resolve fairly urgently is the missing link in the coastal path between Connah’s Quay and Flint.
“Currently, it runs along the A548 on one of its narrowest sections through Oakenholt and past Flint, and across the very narrow bridge.
“There were various proposals to resolve this issue, including the path running across parts of the area on a boardwalk, similar to what they’ve got in Cheshire around Burton Marshes.
“Unfortunately, these were rejected at the time by the RSPB and Countryside Council Wales, who were concerned it would clip the site of special scientific interest.”
Plans to designate the area along the estuary as a single entity like a regional park were first drawn up in 2014 in a bid to attract visitors.
The move followed the creation of the Wales Coast Path two years earlier, which the council said had led to more interest in the county from tourists.
While the local authority said some progress had since been made, officials believe renewed momentum is required to push the plan forward.
Cllr Roberts said improving the path between Connah’s Quay and Flint could form a key part of the proposals.
He said: “Despite all the development that’s gone on along the River Dee, the birds are still there and they’re remarkably resilient.
“We really do need a sensible solution with the RSPB and Natural Resources Wales to the issues between Flint and Connah’s Quay.
“This potentially is a fantastic area and could be used for walking, cycling and recreational activities.”
Andrew Farrow, the council’s chief officer for planning, environment and economy, said he would be happy to set up a meeting with the relevant public bodies to discuss the issue.
Cabinet members also approved the submission of two multi-million-pound bids to the UK Government’s Levelling Up fund at the same meeting.
They said the aim of the applications was to regenerate deprived coastal communities in Flintshire.
Initial proposals include modernising the Flint Castle and Greenfield business parks, transforming Connah’s Quay Dock and restoring the John Summers clocktower building in Sealand.
Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).
Photo: Copyright Mat Fascione and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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