Environmental campaigners in Llanfyllin have claimed victory after a plan to re-concrete a ford near the Tabernacle was halted.

An impromptu protest at a public meeting meant plans to resurface the ford by the Tabernacle Chapel were shelved by Powys County Council, bringing to an end a dispute which has been rumbling on for several months.

The planned work was designed to improve access to two properties in Cae Bodkin Lane near the ford, which had become difficult in the winter due to standing water.

However, environmental concerns were raised when dredging of the ford began last month, with campaigners highlighting the rich variety of wildlife in the ford, and the resultant outcry saw the work grind to a halt. Instead, work clearing vegetation and maintaining the walls will help to improve water flow in the ford.

“Local people were concerned about the damage to wildlife and the negative effects of more concrete in a flood plain area,” said Cordelia Weedon.

“Although the area hasn’t flooded for many years, there are no guarantees in the future with the effects of climate change being unpredictable.”

Powys County Councillor Peter Lewis said: “It was democracy at work, it was a packed meeting and a good level of interest which is great to see locally. There were a lot of other subjects raised which were then discussed at a lively town council meeting afterwards.

“People thought we were going to pipe it off but that was never the plan really, it was just a resurfacing exercise.

“We’ve taken the silt off back to the bare surface and all we’re going to do now is keep the vegetation clear and maintain the walls and hopefully that will solve the problem.”