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Mining firm 'blatantly flouting' planning rules at Tairgwaith
6:30am Wednesday 8th May 2013 in Blackburn Rovers & Premier League Table & Results
AN AMMAN Valley councillor has accused a coal mining company of defying planning conditions by continuing to extract coal from Tairgwaith’s East Pit site.
County councillor Glynog Davies said residents of Cefnbrynbrain felt Celtic Energy Ltd were simply doing as they pleased.
The company’s Lakes at Rhosaman proposal – submitted to Neath Port Talbot Council last November – included the development of a park and leisure facility at the restored site, including a 120- bedroom hotel, 78 holidays lodges a campsite and visitors centre.
In January county borough planners ruled any coaling that took place after November 29 – once the permission had expired – was unauthorised and officers should consider enforcement action.
Celtic Energy has nowsubmitted a retrospective planning application.
“This isn’t a question of being in favour or opposing opencast coalmining,” said Cllr Davies.
“This is a matter of a company blatantly flouting the planning permission given in 2004 which had expired.
“The company had hoped that a comprehensive planning application to extend the current site and to develop a country park with a hotel and lake on the site would have by now been accepted.
“However this is still under consideration and so the company carries on mining knowing full well that they are not complying with the original permission given.
“I have concerns over what the company is promising under the retrospective planning application.
“I have asked many times in meetings with local authority representatives and no assurances could be given that money was available to comply with what was being promised – this is outrageous.
“The people have lost faith in the company for it cannot carry out their promises.”
A spokesman for Celtic Energy said “very few” objections over the Lakes at Rhosaman scheme had been submitted to Neath Port Talbot council. “These are being considered by the council and we await their feedback,” he added.