Coal tip safety work to be “prioritised” after concerns raised
News | Saul Cooke-Black - Local Democracy Reporting Service | Published: 15:45, Monday August 10th, 2020.
Last updated: 17:01, Monday August 10th, 2020
Work to improve the safety of former coal tips in Bedwas will be prioritised by Caerphilly County Borough Council after concerns were raised by politicians and residents living near the site.
Inspection reports on Bedwas tips, obtained following Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to the council by Plaid Cymru, revealed several safety issues.
These included erosion on one side of a tip, which the council said is a “long-standing issue”.
“Although visually it looks concerning, there has been no movement or failure of this slope but it does suffer from ongoing surface erosion due to the passage of water over the unprotected surface,” the council said.
The council said the area is inspected monthly and after storms.
Reports also showed a drainage channel was overgrown and rubbish accumulating against a security screen.
The council said these issues will be addressed before the autumn.
Plaid Cymru has also raised concerns over fencing near a lagoon at the site.
Trethomas resident Marc Hubbard said: “Unfortunately most of the area is easily accessible although it is supposed to be securely fenced particularly as the lagoon is potentially dangerous.
“Children can just walk in to the site and potentially could fall in and drown.”
Delyth Jewell, Senedd Member for South Wales East, said it is “vital all work is completed well before the autumn when rain can be expected”.
“I’m aware that issues like the large ravines which gave inspectors cause for concern were identified in March but were still being highlighted in July,” Ms Jewell said.
“I would have expected this type of issue to have been addressed immediately rather than wait for a programme of works.”
Bedwas community councillor Daniel Llewellyn said issues of concern should be “dealt with very quickly to provide reassurance to people living around the tips in Trethomas”.
The council said a maintenance contract has been approved for award and work is expected to begin in the next two weeks.
“The works at Bedwas will be prioritised and the aspect of maintenance identified in the FOI will be addressed,” a council spokeswoman said.
The council said the lagoon fence will be addressed “as soon as the tips maintenance contract is awarded”.
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