RESIDENTS in Carmarthenshire and beyond are concerned about a plan to extend a coal mine near Ammanford.

Plans were submitted in 2019 by Bryn Bach Coal Ltd to mine coal by surface mining operations at Glan Lash Washery on Waunhafog Road, Ammanford. If approved, it would allow the company to mine 110,000 tonnes of ‘premium quality anthracite from the proposed Glan Lash extension.’

The extension covers 10.03 hectares of land to the north of the current Glan Lash mine site.

The land is currently consisting of four semi-improved neutral grassland fields which are enclosed by hedgerows. The fields have previously been used for grazing of cattle, sheep and horses and a felling licence had been issued by the council previously for the trees.

The application stated there were 11 proposed employees.

On the application – which according to Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning portal, is currently ‘in review’ – there are a large number of consultation responses including one from Friends of the Earth who ‘strongly objects’ for a number of reasons, including how the application would go against a number of planning regulations.

A number of other consultation responses highlight the fact that the Welsh Government is phasing out fossil fuels.

Ceredigion Extinction Rebellion Group recently highlighted that heat records are being broken across the northern hemisphere, and that climate change is continuing to cause chaos around the world, with floods, fires and landslides.

Sian Vaughan, who is part of the group, said: “It is clear that the world cannot safely absorb yet more carbon dioxide emissions without major impacts. The science is clear; we must swiftly reduce our emissions.

“Along with other environmental groups around west Wales we hope that Carmarthenshire County Council will stand up for the future we all need and put an unequivocal stop to the proposed extension of Glan Lash opencast coal mine at the planning stage.

“But we can take nothing for granted, given the blatant playing of the system going on at Ffos y Fran, the largest opencast mine in the UK located just outside Merthyr Tydfil, which continues to extract coal illegally despite not having ongoing planning permission, and against the will of Merthyr Council and the Senedd.”

Philippa Gibson, another member of the group, said: “If you’d like to add your voice to request that the application at Glan Lash is turned down, this is the link to record your thoughts on the proposed extension:

“Wales has historically had a very rough ride with traditional industries and communities being left high and dry. So we also call for a supported transition, with new training and new jobs for affected workers and communities. We are only going to succeed in this changing world if we support each other.”