Mid Wales

Nant Helen mine restoration plans concerns raised

Nant Helen

"Significant concerns" have been raised over restoration plans for a mine which is being mothballed in Powys.

Celtic Energy was granted planning permission in 2012 to restore the Nant Helen site in Coelbren to grassland with an enclosed farm.

But Natural Resources Wales said there were "inconsistencies" with what was expected, and not enough information.

Powys councillors are recommended to approve the report, with officers saying it meets requirements.

It was announced last August the 345 hectares (853 acres) mine would be mothballed for two years with the loss of 75 jobs.

In 2012, Celtic Energy was asked to meet 65 conditions including providing a detailed restoration plan.

But Natural Resources Wales said it has "significant concerns" over what has now been submitted to the council and it has requested a site meeting.

It questioned why an area of conifers was no longer due to be replanted with broadleaf trees, why proposed water routes had been changed and whether there would be enough water to keep the grassland hydrated.

It also claimed proposed contours for the grassland appeared too steep and it questioned what species it could support which would distinguish the area from surrounding land.

Powys council's planning committee is due to discuss the report on Thursday.

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