Locals fight plans to drill for gas at Pontrhydyfen

27 April 2014

People living in the Pontrhydyfen area are being urged to fight plans to drill for gas in Foel Fynyddau Forest.

A public meeting is being held tomorrow night (April 28) to discuss proposals submitted by a company called UK Methane.

It has applied to Neath Port Talbot Council for permission to drill a borehole to test for coal bed methane and shale gas in the forest at Pontrhydyfen.

Residents must register their concerns with the council before May 9, when the consultation period ends.

Keith Ross, who is campaigning against the plan, said: “This application will not involve hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), but the company has made clear in their application that if the testing is successful they intend to submit an additional planning application for “longer term pilot production”.

“This exploration borehole could be the start of a much larger project to extract gas from the local area – leading to industrialisation of the countryside, major disruption and the possibility of “fracking”, which poses a significant risk of pollution to the local environment.”

A meeting to discuss the proposals at Cwmafan Community Centre last Tuesday was packed with worried locals and a big turn out is expected at a second public meeting at the Blue Scar Club in Pontrhydyfen on Monday (April 28) at 7pm.

Neath Port Talbot Mayor, Councillor Marian Lewis, called on the 7,000 voters across the area register their concerns, saying: “People power is important.”

Keith Ross said: “If you are concerned about this application, write to or go and see your local councillor and tell them of your concerns.  Ask them to attend the planning committee meeting and to ensure that your concerns are raised with the committee.

“Write to or go and see your local assembly member(s) and tell them of your concerns.  The land where they will be drilling is owned by the Welsh Government and managed by Natural Resources Wales. This makes the application a matter of interest to assembly members.”

For full details of the proposals, go to the Neath Port Talbot Council planning applications website and search for the planning application number P2014/0217.

The application will be decided by the council’s planning committee on May 27.



Article tags

Share this article

Comment on this article

3 × four =

Amanda Davies says:

appalled Can we not learn from the devastation of the earth this has caused in other areas. I do not want this practice in the world or Wales Never mind on my door step . There is no reason or logic to polluting or damaging our planet in this way .. There are many more safer and Greener ways to produce energy . This area and surrounding areas , have so much to offer If the council merely wishes to profit try promoting a healthy outdoors and the fantastic flora and fauna , we have Profit from Preserving not pollution The results will last far longer and be less damaging to all local life

P. Jones and D.G.Jones says:

Why has this been kept quiet, no-one we know has heard anything about any meetings concerning fracking. We wholly disagree with the project as no-one knows the outcome, concerning the environment, water pollution, air pollution and the risks to the community. The thought of burning coal seams underground sounds dangerous, and fills us with dread and concerns for future generations.

M. Jones says:

This is so typical. Why has no one heard anything about it until the 12th hour. There are so many issues at stake here. I totally disagree with this project. This is an area of natural beauty, history and community. What about the health issues to the people in Cwmavon and Pontrhydyfen. Surely this should be a priority and what about the increase in traffic to the area. It is so typical of “never mind the risks” when it comes to making money.

Alison Chesterfield says:

Gravely concerns me! In addition to chemical contamination,greenhouse gas,damage to flora/fauna and the potential threat to health, the proposed area is of historical, and bio-diverse importance, with ancient burial sites,areas of international BAP and SSSI, and vast networks of underground mines dating back to the copper industry! Lets hope our publicly appointed representatives consider the wider implications and do the right thing!! And yes,it has been kept quiet!!!!!

Karendenyer says:

Having just found out about this I am gravely concerned, this practice would ruin the beautiful countryside, not to mention the traffic increase, plus the unknown long term effects!!! Omg how do we stop it is there a local action group seems pointless sending letters in individually people need to get together on this one, it could affect children’s health, property prices, insurance!!! And all the other stuff we don’t know about yet, who will compensate for future cancers caused by this industry, who will protect our planet, one this starts in wales it will continue, there are already greedy companies rubbing their hands together to drill all over wales to export the gases etc, the health and beauty of our land is priceless, don’t let this happen