No thanks Celtic Energy!

Time has swiftly rolled on since my last blog and the Public Inquiry into the Margam open cast coal mine extension is already nearly over. Over the last 3-4 weeks Celtic Energy (Margam’s owners) have been setting out their evidence on why the extension should be allowed. On Tuesday 17th February I attended the Public Inquiry to give evidence against the proposal, focusing on the impacts of the open cast on Coed Hafod Heulog, a wonderfully tranquil ancient woodland in south Wales.

Marga, open cast mine

Margam Open Cast Mine today

What was incredibly inspiring about this rather nerve racking experience, was the large number of local people that turned up to speak out against the extension of the mine. There was an interesting variety of views, including those from an expert in Economics from Cardiff University; the local campaign group, PACT; the home owners whose unfriendly neighbour is the open cast pit; and many more.  The strength of feeling against the operation and these plans to extend was immense.

Every person had a compelling case into why the open cast should not be granted further permission and gave the Inquiry an insight into what it is like to live next door to a giant pit.  Sadly, the trees at Coed Hafod Heulog are unable to speak out against Celtic Energy’s proposals. Luckily though, the Woodland Trust and local people are able to speak out on the wood’s behalf.  I desperately hope that the Inspector’s decision recognises the integrity of all of our evidence, sees the importance of ancient woodland and agrees with all of us: that the pros of this open cast extension could never outweigh the cons.

About Alice Farr

Senior Campaigner - ancient woodland
This entry was posted in Open cast coal, Planning, Wales, Woods Under Threat and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to No thanks Celtic Energy!

  1. Pingback: Ancient woodland stands in the way of new coal. «

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks To All Who Protested and Spoke Against Margam. No Thought For The Men Who Will Now Lose Jobs So Close To Christmas And In Our Currently Tough Climate. Some Of These Men Who Would Also Be Known As Welsh Heroes From Their Days Underground. Opencast Offers Wales Decent Jobs, What Else Does Wales Offer? Opencast Supports Hundreds Of Family’s Of Workers But Also Puts Thousands Of POunds Into Local Buisnesses. Without Open Cast Wales Will Be one Step Closer To Losing All Industry. Many Of Those Also Protesting Bought Their Houses Knowing Of The Open Cast, In My Eyes, On buying Your House You’ve Agreed To Allow The Site. Remembering That Your Electricity Could Well Be Provided From Aberthaw Power Station… Supplied With Celtic Energy’s Coal. Fossil Fuels May Be Running Out, And The Government Know Where The Coal Is, If They Were Ever To Be In Short Supply, Your Opinions Wont Count, They’ll Be Back To Get That Coal, And Maybe With A Lot Less Co-operation And Concern.

  3. Pingback: Coal causes controversy «

  4. Pat Judson says:

    Hello all at Woodland Trust, we are a small group fighting UK Coals attempt toopencast mine an area adjoining the landmark “Wrekin”, slap in the middle of the Shropshire plain.
    The lower hills leading to the Wrekin contain Ancient woodland, a massive Yew tree comparable to the 5,000 year old in Discoed Radnorshire churchyard, Holy wells, probably burial mounds – there are some at lower levels around 1km away from the proposed site, abundant Deer , Badgers, birdlife, Bluebells woods, oh yes, and coal – that dirty little word that causes so much environmental damage.
    We are facing a planning Inquiry on April 28th, at Grays Hotel, Telford town centre, 10 am, and we are going there to protest, anyone who wants to join us is welcome , as we believe, that as the rest of the UK (Scotland and Wales), now have compulsory 500 metre buffer zones, and Health Impact Assessments as mandatory planning guidance, England does not.
    This is wrong, and must be addressed by a Government who manifesto contained a “presumption against” opencast mining.
    Even the Coal producers, in their coal Forum of July 2008, asked that the Government gave a “Level playing field for planning regulations” – there can be no more level a playing field than ALL the UK having 500 metre buffer zones, and HIAs as compulsory.They then went on to back pedal, and say buffer zones should be imposed on mines selectively, each to its own merits.
    This is not acceptable – 500 metres is.
    As the blog above states, once they open a hole for coal, if they can get away with it, they will apply to expand – this is the reality that we have had a hard time getting over to people in Telford, you obviously have massive support against the planned extention to the mine – we have had to fight hard to make people realise what an opencast mine brings.
    Friends of the Ercall hope that your fight comes to a conclusion for sanity – people before profit, health before coal.
    Best wishes, Pat & friends of the Ercall.

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