Opposition mounts against open cast mining bid
OPPOSITION is mounting against plans to bring open cast mining to Pontyberem and Ponthenri.
During their latest planning and liaison committee meetings, Llanelli Rural Council objected to proposals put forward by Draeth Developments Ltd, stating nine reasons why they were against it.
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.
But councillors stating that it would have a detrimental impact on village life and the general well being and health of the community, as well as an immediate and long term affect on the environmental landscape.
Members also stated it would have a visual impact on both sides of the Gwendraeth Valley, and cause increased traffic movements of haulage and plant.
They also stated that noise and dust pollution would have a detrimental impact on neighbouring villages, that there is a potential for water pollution and an impact on local ecology.
The council also stated that the application did not appear to support the principles of sustainable development.
Draeth say mining at the former colliery site would bring 35 jobs plus additional spin-off employment to the area.
And they have also pledged that the land will be restored to a mixture of woodland, other nature conservation habitats and agriculture.
But the planning application has come up against fierce opposition since it was submitted five years ago, with a 900-signature petition being signed by residents and an action group set up in a bid to block the scheme.
The rural council's objection follows a meeting held between Pontyberem and Ponthenri residents who came together to express concern at the latest amended 'land reclamation' proposals.
Worries were aired 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.
And 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.
The consultation deadline has now passed and the scheme is being considered by county planners.