Concern over mining plans
RESIDENTS from Pontyberem and Ponthenri came together on Monday night to express concern over a development in plans to bring open-cast mining to the area.
The Pontyberem Memorial Hall meet-up was called reacting to the latest amended 'land reclamation' proposals over five years being released by Draeth Developments Ltd.
The company seeks to remove coal over a six year period by surface excavation along the hillside from Pontyberem to Ponthenri, shadowing the Gwendraeth Fawr.
Chairing the meeting, Alban Rees, a community councillor and former head teacher, said he had met council officials.
A letter was sent to the council on September 30, launching a statutory 14 day consultation exercise to receive public responses to the latest plans, but many claimed they did not receive sufficient notification.
Worries over numerous coal lorry movements through Pontyberem via Drefach to the motorway and the impact on ancient woodland, local wildlife and flora were aired, as well as the potential impact on public health and safety. Former Pentremawr Cynheidre collieries manager, Keith Jones, estimated that 20 million gallons of water are contained within the miles of underground workings in the hillsides and noted that any heavy digging could result in a "tsunami like" deluge cascading along the Gwendraeth river.
But Phil Cullen, a former NCB employee at Cynheidre, reported that six bore holes had been placed by the mining company to monitor water level variations.
Councillor Cyril Rees stated the headteacher and governors of Pontyberem School had lodged their concerns.
The closing date to write in to the council's planning department is Monday, October 14.