South West Wales

Swansea Valley coal exploration plan thrown out

Trees fallen against the vestry of Panteg Chapel in Ystalyfera after the landslip
Image caption The landslip in Ystalyfera in 2012 uprooted trees which came to rest against a vestry

Plans to drill for coal in the Swansea Valley have been thrown out because of concerns over it causing landslips.

Residents in Godre'r Graig, Panteg and Ystalyfera feared investigating a coal seam at Pen y Darren could destabilise the ground above the villages.

It follows a landslide in Ystalyfera after bad weather in December 2012, which brought thousands of tonnes of soil on to a road affecting 11 homes.

Neath Port Talbot councillors rejected the plans by Western Carbons.

Planning officers had recommended to refuse the application because the applicant had not submitted adequate information to demonstrate "robustly and beyond doubt" that the development would not cause further instability.

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