East Pit complex plans in question
8:00am Thursday 17th January 2013 in News
NEATH AM Gwenda Thomas has urged the Welsh Government to call in plans for a 120-bed hotel complex and leisure park in the Amman Valley.
Mrs Thomas has asked the national planners to review proposals for the scheme at East Pit, near Gwaun cae Gurwen, before outline plans are given the go ahead, claiming elements of the landscaping design for massive manmade lakes could put local communities at risk.
The project forms part of a regeneration scheme which is set to begin once East Pit becomes exhausted in five years time, although part of the proposal includes an extension to the agreed scale of the mining operation.
Ms Thomas has asked planners to assess the proposals for the regeneration project, claiming the scheme’s proximity to the Brecon Beacons National Park could have a major impact on a landscape of national importance.
She also fears that the size of the proposed development would impact on Neath Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire and Powys, and that the extension to the opencast operation would take the mine 500 metres beyond its previously agreed limit.
Describing the proposed lakes as “a novel planning issue”, Ms Thomas urged planners to seek expert advice, saying: “There have been few reservoirs on this scale constructed in recent years and the possible consequences of their failure would be significant.”