Auction delay call over site's toxic waste fear
RESIDENTS planning to buy council land to prevent travellers settling there are calling for the auction to be delayed over "toxic waste" fears.
The group from Porth Dafen near Llanelli said they were keen to purchase the 12-acre plot when it goes up for auction on Friday at 3pm at the Ivy Bush Hotel in Carmarthen.
The guide price has been set at between £5,000 and £10,000.
But leader of the action group, David Hunter, said they want Carmarthenshire Council, which is selling the land, to postpone the auction for further examination into fears it could be contaminated.
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Mr Hunter, who has lived in the area for nearly 20 years, said residents wanted to buy the land to keep "as it is".
"Our concern is that some of the travelling community buy it," he said.
"We've got to ensure that the travellers don't get it.
"For the amount of money they (the council) are going to get for it we think it should really be offered to the community. There are a number of people here prepared to buy it. We just want to keep it as it is.
"Most of us have been here for 20 years or longer.
"People go riding across it. The kids go on their quads.
"But we can't buy it with the possibility of potential toxic waste and mine shafts.
"The council keep saying refer to the buyers' pack, but there's nothing there to say they've carried out full investigation surveys and have checked for toxic waste."
Mr Hunter said the residents wanted the authority to defer the auction for three months.
"The council are adamant it's going to go to auction on the day. They don't seem to care," he said.
Llanelli MP Nia Griffith also urged the council to put the auction on hold.
She said: "I have contacted council officers requesting an urgent meeting, so they can hear the concerns of residents and I very much hope that the council will be willing to postpone the sale of the land to allow the residents time to explore the options. "
A county council spokeswoman said all potential buyers could carry out their own investigations into the land before bidding.
She said: "Our legal department has provided an environmental search and coal mining search in the legal pack.
"The environmental search states that 'there may be a potential source of contamination arising from the potentially contaminative past land use which may have significant implications. It would appear from this preliminary appraisal that there may be a potential pollutant linkage'.
"The report also comments that in their opinion the 'property may also constitute "contaminated land"' for the purposes of the Environmental Protection Act 1990."
She said the pack was available to view from selling agents John Francis.
"In addition, a potential buyer can also carry out their own site survey , on appointment, prior to bidding on the land," she added.