Opencast firm's move to head off complaints
8:00am Friday 26th October 2012 in News
THE owners of the newlyopened Glanlash opencast site between Llandybie and Blaenau have vowed to do their utmost to address the concerns of residents effected by the mining process.
Bryn Bach Coal expects to extract around 1,800 tonnes of coal per month from the site, situated in what company boss Chris James labelled “the most heavily-mined location in Europe”.
In a bid to address any complaints as they arise, the firm has set up an 11- strong liaison committee made up of county and community councillors, county council officers and residents whose properties neighbour the site.
“The committee provides a means of communication between the operation and locals to give updates and provide a forum for anyone who might have an issue,” said chairman Rob Thomas, of Waunfarlais Road.
The firm has already rearranged site working hours, installed pollution and dust monitors and reduced noise levels to help strengthen relations with householders.
“In reality we are bound to impact on the locality due to the nature of what we are doing and it would be stupid of us to say otherwise,” said Mr James.
“We hope that the liaison committee can mitigate and manage that impact by giving people the means to raise their concerns.
“We began mining on August 7 and always anticipated the early stages of the process would be the noisiest because we were working at ground level.
“When we did receive a complaint about noise we were able to change our working practices and put mufflers on our dumper trucks to address it.”
Committee member Mwynwen Williams, who represents Aberlash Road residents, said she had been impressed by the firm’s efforts.
“So far they appear to have a very good attitude towards the community,” said Mrs Williams.
“It is good to have updates on progress at the site.
“I know there were some issues with noise levels from various places to begin with, but those have been addressed. As far as I’m aware, nobody else has come forward with any complaints.”
The committee will also administer a community fund which will see the firm donate £5,000 annually to local good causes.