A county councillor is claiming that the site of a former quarry in Capel, Dafen Llanelli is to be used to dump vast amounts of recycled waste. The councillor claims that the site is an area of special scientific interest and supports diverse flora and fauna including some endangered species.
Cllr Rob Evans who represents the Dafen ward said that local residents were furious at the plans to open up the quarry for dumping waste. He said that he believed that the application for an entry point and road access was just the start of what was to come if that application were granted. Cllr Evans claims that the outcome of the planning application for an access road would determine whether the applicant purchased the land off the county council.
The planning application submitted by Evans Banks Planning on behalf of Gaving Griffiths Recycling limited is for; Proposed Formation of a Vehicular Access to former Quarry to provide Access for Future Redevelopment at land part of former Capel Quarry, Dafen, Llanelli.
Cllr Evans along with a number of residents is objecting to the plans. He said: “The company Griffiths Recycling are a recycling company that dispose of hard core and other debris from other sites from in and around West Wales and beyond. The most important part to my objection the impact on residents in Capel Road Bryngwyn Bach and Tir Capel Dafen through movements of HGV lorries entering Capel Quarry and leaving while firstly clearing the quarry itself before being able to dump waste materials from other sites. The impact on traffic in this area will be greatly increased remembering we have five schools with in this area.
“I have concerns that the very structure of Capel quarry is fragile. In the past this quarry was used to collect stone for Dafen brick works and there have also been mining operations under its foundations. Flooding may have an impact if the quarry is cut back re -filled with rubble the water table could be lifted and the residents within this area could have flooding issues especially properties further down than the quarry.
“I have been listing to residents’ concerns and I regard this quarry as a high risk area which should receive specialists attention by an environmental company and not one that has interests primarily as a land fill site.
“ I have concerns regarding the wildlife that live in the quarry itself. There are badgers, foxes and the bird population will eventually decrease. There are reptiles such as newts the great common newt for an example. Digging up such an area will have a profound effect long term on its resident wildlife if this area was disturbed without thought and consultation. Llanelli’s Box Cemetery is across the road can you image people attending funerals and the noise of trucks for the people who live in Capel Road. It will be awful and for how long no one can say. As this planning application is being considered by CCC planning residents and myself are worried over what other planning applications may be made by a recycling company Griffiths Recycling. This is a residential area for private home owners and CCC tenants.”
Martin Davies a resident of Tir Capel said: “When the former quary site was offered for sale it was stated that the site could not be used for residential or commercial development. The construction of this access road for use during future development contravenes the original sale particulars. In addition, as one of the original interested parties in acquiring the site, I have been informed by the council that the original successful purchaser had pulled out of the sale and that it would be readvertised for sale. This planning application appears to reflect that a sale has progressed without the site being readvertised. Again, in contravention of the council process. I was also informed by the council during the original sale process that the site would not be used for landfill purposes, something that now seems to be the main purpose of the planning applicant. I therefore object to this planning application on the above counts.”
Steven Davies of Capel Road said: “If future development is granted the area will require substantial importation and deposition of material which in itself would present safety and environmental concern to residents and road users. All the surrounding roads are 20mph limits, traffic calmed and unsuitable for convoys of earth carrying wagons. I would also suggest the biodiversity of the quarry is investigated ahead of any decision as it has its own micro climate and a population of invertebrates within the many pools.”
Sandra Davies of Tir Capel said: “We don’t need a recycling plant in the middle of a residential area. The site is surrounded by properties.”
Simon Thomas of Capel Road said: Having read the coal mining report I can see there are high concerns for any development there meaning this could impact the foundations of our homes. This will devalue homes, cause anxiety and stress for ourselves and those of elderly neighbours. We will loose sunlight and privacy due to overlooking our homes.”
Mr Thomas also claims that no one had been sent any notification of the planning application.
Many more residents echo the concerns and have objected to the plans.
The Coal Authority stated: “The Coal Authority records indicate that a coal outcrop runs through the site and this may have been subject to unrecorded workings at shallow depth. Our records also show that the application area lies within the boundary of a site from which coal has been removed by surface mining methods. These features pose a potential risk to surface stability and public safety. In accordance with the agreed risk-based approach to development management in the defined Development High Risk Areas, the applicant should be informed that they need to submit a Coal Mining Risk Assessment Report to support this planning application. As no relevant information has been submitted at this time the Coal Authority objects to this planning application.”
We contacted Carmarthenshire County Council for a comment.