Swansea Valley factory owner fears being sold off for development
A SWANSEA Valley firm has learned that the land on which it stands may be sold from under their feet after seeing a notice on a lamppost.
I&G Engineering Limited, which operates out of Alltwen Industrial Estate off Lon Hir, discovered that a planning application had been lodged with Neath Port Talbot council for 34 new homes through the street-published notification.
Andrew Evans, managing director of I&G Engineering Limited, said that if his company was forced into relocating then the future of its 10 employees may be in doubt.
He said: “We have been trading in Pontardawe since 1975 and have been on this site since 1997.
“We employ 10 people and I have just taken on two apprentices.
“We have tried to invest our way out of the recession and over the last few year we have spent around £250,000 on the company.
“The council has been fantastic on the economic development side, and have helped us with grants and things, but if we have to relocate we just wont be able to cope on our own.
“When we saw notice of the planning application on a lamppost it was like a bolt out of the blue.”
Alltwen ward councillor David Lewis has already held a public meeting following concerns over the amount of new homes being built elsewhere in the village.
Of the prospect of homes being built on the industrial site and the concerns of Mr Evans, he said: “This is a quality employer and the possibility of his having to close for what appears to be planning reasons is something that has to be looked at carefully.
“This could be the possibility of his being relocated, hopefully, still in the Swansea Valley as those jobs are good jobs and I don’t want to see them go.”
A spokesman for Neath Port Talbot council said: “The application is for outline planning permission to demolish and replace the existing industrial units at the site with up to 34 residential units. The application was registered in April 2013.
"Correspondence has been received from the company in question and the issues raised will be taken into consideration in the determination of the application.
“Following the consideration of all submitted information, the local planning authority will consider the planning merits associated with the proposed development having regard to the policies within the adopted Neath Port Talbot Unitary Development Plan in addition to National Policies and Guidance.”