Council rejects open cast coal mine plans

Caerphilly County Council has thrown out controversial plans to build an opencast coal mine at Nant Llesg.

Members unanimously rejected the application by Welsh mining company Miller Argent at a planning committee meeting on August 5.

In a statement, the company said it was “hugely disappointed” by the decision.

“This project would have brought up to 239 highly paid jobs and considerable inward investment to the Rhymney Valley, as well as millions of pounds worth of additional benefits to the local community,” the statement said. 

“The benefit fund alone represents up to £1,000 for each local household. Taken together, these would have transformed the economic future of the area for the better. We will now assess the implications of this decision and consider the options available to us.”

But the council’s decision was warmly welcomed by environmental campaigners
Friends of the Earth.

The group’s Chief Executive, Craig Bennett, said: "The rejection of this dirty and polluting opencast coal mine is a historic victory for people power and the climate.

"Caerphilly councillors have put themselves on the right side of history by voting to leave fossil fuels in the ground where they belong.

"The local community has fought long and hard against this opencast coal mine proposal, and its legacy of pollution, devastation and disruption.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues