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East Pit coal work could be extended

By Carmarthen Journal  |  Posted: October 09, 2013

PLANS to extend the work of a coal mine in the Amman Valley are to be discussed by Carmarthenshire Council this week.

There are proposals to extend the work at East Pit near Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen for the purpose of coal extraction.

It is hoped extraction at the mine, which borders the villages of Brynamman, Gwaun-cae-gurwen, Cwmgors and Cefnbrynbrain, will be extended to November 2015.

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 of around 9.1 hectares of open grassland.

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.

Brynaman councillor Glynog Davies said: "My view has always been that I have never objected to the principle of open cast mining, but I was concerned that they continued mining East Pit without planning permission because it ran out last November."

Mr Davies said rather than filling in the void let by the mine there are plans to create a large lake at the site.

"It will be dangerously deep, a some 120 metres. I am dead against that application."

Mr Davies said the people of Cefnbrynbrain were also pretty concerned and frightened of having such as large and vast lake near their village.

Although the application is to be decided by Neath Port Talbot Council, Carmarthenshire Council's planning committee will be discussing the extension as part of their consultation next Thursday.

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