Broken Promises and a Legacy of Distrust: Restoration Failures Show Long-Term Impact of Coal Mines

Source: Desmog UK


Read time: 14 mins

Eddy Blanche is jubilant. “I still can’t believe we won – it took us five years but we beat them. I’m gobsmacked.”

The rejection of the extension to the Ffos-y-Fran mine at the top of the Rhymney Valley in Wales has been seen by campaigners as an historic victory. Known as Nant Llesg, the new section of mine would have seen the extraction of another six million tonnes of coal from the site, which has been in operation since 2007.

Caerphilly County Borough Council turned down the application in 2015. The developer, then known as Miller Argent, lodged an appeal. But the Planning Inspectorate threw out the case in September after the company, by then known as Blackstone (Merthyr Limited), failed to submit extra information on the environmental statement it had requested.

It wasn’t just a win for us, it was a win for all campaigns — against fracking, open cast mines, street trees being cut down,” Blanche, a committee member of campaign group United Valley Action Group (UVAG) enthuses.