Hotel 'only option' for coal pit site
A PLANNING consultancy which has applied to build a hotel at the site of an opencast pit in the Amman Valley when it closes has said it is not currently looking for ideas from the public.
Last week, Brynaman resident Colin Jones called on the people of the village to discuss his idea for a museum, and to bring in their own suggestions for the Celtic Energy East Pit site, near Tai'rgwaith, which is due to close in 2018.
But a spokesman for SLR Consulting, which is in charge of the regeneration project for the site, has said an application for a hotel complex is as far as they are currently looking.
Mr Jones, of New Road, who is not connected to SLR, wanted the pit to be used as a working museum, which he believed would be the first of its kind.
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"Extracting coal would only be carried out for the benefit of the onlookers who would arrive at the bottom of the hole via a narrow gauge railway, lift or cable car," he said, adding that theme park-style rides could add to the attraction.
Following this, Will Ryan of SLR Consulting said ideas from the public were currently on hold, after it submitted an outline application proposing a country park, 120-bed hotel complex, holiday village and dive centre, and a large recreational lake, to act as a tourist hub, to Neath Port Talbot Council.
He said: "The position at this time is that the application has been submitted, which includes a hotel. At the moment, it really is one application as it stands, and we need to work towards getting that resolved before working on any other ideas from the public.
"The council is currently in the process of consulting on it, hopefully with a view to determination during the next few months."
Mr Jones said he was undeterred and would continue to think of ideas for the site.