Council opposes extension at mine
PLANS to extend extraction work at an Amman Valley coal mine have been opposed by Carmarthenshire Council.
There are proposals to extend the work at East Pit near Gwaun-cae-Gurwen for the purpose of coal extraction until November 2015.
The plans are before Neath Port Talbot Council, who will make the final decision, but Carmarthenshire Council has to be consulted on the mine applications because it borders the county villages of Brynaman, Gwaun-cae- gurwen, Cwmgors and Cefnbrynbrain.
At a meeting of Carmarthenshire Council's planning committee, county planners backed a report which said "further extension of the site will significantly extend the period of disturbance" for residents.
The county council voted to oppose the mining extension and also opted to ask the Welsh Government to call in the planning application. Approximately one million tonnes of coal remains within the previously permitted area with a further 630,000 tonnes estimated to be within the proposed extension area.
The East Pit site covers an area of 585 hectares and outline planning for the area includes a country park, a 120-bed hotel complex, 78 holiday lodges, a campsite, visitor centre, dive centre and a large recreational lake to act as a tourist hub.
If approved the project would begin after work at the opencast coal site comes to an end when reserves are exhausted in approximately five years.
Neath Port Talbot Council said it was considering both the mining extension request and the additional development plans.
It also confirmed that Celtic Energy was continuing to operate at the site without planning permission.
Thomas Ronald Sinclair, of Talrgwaith, where the mine is based, said: "That open cast has been there since 1947 and it has never been closed. I think it is disgusting what they are doing."