Quarry pressing ahead with controversial expansion plans
News | Rhys Williams | Published: 12:27, Thursday July 30th, 2020.
Last updated: 12:27, Thursday July 30th, 2020
Controversial plans to expand a sandstone quarry near Gelligaer are being discussed with residents and nearby businesses.
A pre-application consultation to expand the 6.8 hectare quarry at Gelliargwellt Uchaf Farm has been launched and will end on August 8.
Alun Price, managing director at Bryn Group, which runs the site, said: “Our proposals would extend the quarry by a maximum 131 metres at the north east and south east faces, exceeding the minimum buffer zone stated in both the county local development plan and significantly better than the Welsh Government guidance.
“Importantly, we are not proposing any increase in the intensity of quarrying, which means there wouldn’t be any increased frequency of blasting, the daily number of lorry movements or our working hours.”
The plans have drawn opposition from Caerphilly’s Senedd Member Hefin David, as well as the three councillors representing the St Cattwg ward, where the quarry is based.
Dr David said: “I’ve written to the council to oppose the publicised pre-application. The council have written back to me to say they haven’t received any application at this point, and that any pre-application is actually with the private company itself, so the council hasn’t received anything at all.
“If this comes to a public planning stage, then I’m going to step up my opposition and work with the community to oppose it.
“There’s already far too much going on – it’s a very busy site that’s causing misery for residents. The dust nuisance is causing problems in both Gelligaer and Penybryn, and there are other long-standing complaints that come from the site.
“This is a step too far and must be opposed.”
St Cattwg councillor Ann Gair said: “Myself and the other councillors in the ward (Cllr Carmen Bezzina and Cllr Wynne David) are with our residents on this, because as a councillor I have so many complaints from that site.
“The quarry is coming ever closer to the houses. People have to put up with the dust, the noise, the blasting, the traffic and the heavy vehicles back and forth there. We would certainly oppose any extension to that quarry.”
Bryn Group managing director Mr Price added: “We urge local people to ask questions and engage with the process. We are aware of a vocal group who are opposed to quarrying at Gelliargwellt Uchaf, and there has been a great deal of misinformation and rumours circulating.
“We welcome representations and feedback from anyone who might be affected by the quarry.
“We are especially keen to work with local elected representatives, so they can help their constituents understand what is being proposed and form opinions based on facts and data.”
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