Minister pledges to answer Varteg questions

South Wales Argus: Minister pledges to answer Varteg questions Minister pledges to answer Varteg questions

VARTEG campaigners have welcomed the news that a Welsh minster has agreed to answer questions on their calls to introduce a 500m buffer between opencast mines and homes.

Minister for housing and regeneration, Carl Sargeant, has agreed to appear before the National Assembly’s Petitions Committee in February to answer questions about the petition entitled Make the Minerals Techincal Advice Note (MTAN) law.

Those who have campaigned against opencast mining at the Varteg have been calling for the guidelines of a buffer between opencast mining and homes to be made law and submitted a petition to the Assembly.

The hope is that if it is made law, then opencast mining will never be able to proceed in the Varteg as there are homes within this distance of the proposed mine.Ysgol Bryn Onnen is just 120 metres away.

Campaigner, John Cox said: “Its welcome news as it has previously been postponed twice, but this is a step in the right direction.

“If it is made law then it would not only affect the future of the Varteg, but the whole of opencast mining in Wales.”

The news follows Mr Sargeant’s decision to dismiss the appeal by Glamorgan Power Company Ltd and refuse to grant outline planning permission for land reclamation and coal recovery scheme at Varteg Hill.

The decision came after Welsh Government-appointed inspector Clive Nield had recommended to the minister earlier this year that the appeal from Glamorgan Power against Torfaen council’s rejection of plans for the opencast mine, be allowed.

Reasons given include that a unilateral undertaking submitted raises the question of whether realistic assessments have been made with regards to the likely cost of the restoration works.

The report, signed by the minister, states that the undertaking proposed for an initial security sum of £2,870,775 to be put in an account held by the council in its name to carry out restoration works, site clearance and aftercare works.

But the report states the sum is larger than that proposed at the inquiry and that there is little information provided on the justification for the levels of costing for some parts of the restoration works.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:26pm Fri 6 Dec 13

varteg1 says...

More bloody waffle to justify turning the appellants down.

Maybe Sargent can be more explicit in his reasoning, especially as GP increased the amount to be put in bond for the restoration woks., I could understand it if GP had attempted to reduce the original figure, But turning the project down when even more money was offered seems somewhat incomprehensible, as well as leaving the land in a very unstable and un usable condition. The land belongs to GP and others than the very gobby protesters have been hoping it would be cleaned up and made usable, and support the project.

maybe Sargent should come and have a look at the disaster zone beoire brushing off our demands for it to be put right. .

I am more than willing to turn his decision to approval, by taking him around the area.

In regarding making that 500 metre buffer hard and fast in legal terms, I think the Minister would be completely off his rocker, as that would commit the Assemble to a rigid stricture that would impact on all sorts of earth moving projects. not just opencasting.

The inspector in his report back to the Assembly made it quite clear there would be minimal impact on the school ,or the immediate community, his decision was not based on over emotive rhetoric but on sound scientific study, Sargent has taken the worst possible decision both for the community, the school and the Council, all of who would have financially benefited from the financial recompenses offered.

Dr Cox may have some standing in his professional field, but as he lives five times the recommended buffer distance away from the site of operations , I think his comments are a bit rich him sticking his oar into waters where he doesn't even float a boat. I live 50 metres from the site, and want it cleaned up.. Maybe Sargent will give ear to me an others instead of just the whinging opposition.

That said, the same applies to the,local Councillors, who may be representing SOME of their constituents, but as there are also many who support the project, I feel, in fairness they should have refrained from making comments in a victorious vein, it does not sit well with many who they have effectively snubbed. It will not be forgotten I can assure them.
More bloody waffle to justify turning the appellants down. Maybe Sargent can be more explicit in his reasoning, especially as GP increased the amount to be put in bond for the restoration woks., I could understand it if GP had attempted to reduce the original figure, But turning the project down when even more money was offered seems somewhat incomprehensible, as well as leaving the land in a very unstable and un usable condition. The land belongs to GP and others than the very gobby protesters have been hoping it would be cleaned up and made usable, and support the project. maybe Sargent should come and have a look at the disaster zone beoire brushing off our demands for it to be put right. . I am more than willing to turn his decision to approval, by taking him around the area. In regarding making that 500 metre buffer hard and fast in legal terms, I think the Minister would be completely off his rocker, as that would commit the Assemble to a rigid stricture that would impact on all sorts of earth moving projects. not just opencasting. The inspector in his report back to the Assembly made it quite clear there would be minimal impact on the school ,or the immediate community, his decision was not based on over emotive rhetoric but on sound scientific study, Sargent has taken the worst possible decision both for the community, the school and the Council, all of who would have financially benefited from the financial recompenses offered. Dr Cox may have some standing in his professional field, but as he lives five times the recommended buffer distance away from the site of operations , I think his comments are a bit rich him sticking his oar into waters where he doesn't even float a boat. I live 50 metres from the site, and want it cleaned up.. Maybe Sargent will give ear to me an others instead of just the whinging opposition. That said, the same applies to the,local Councillors, who may be representing SOME of their constituents, but as there are also many who support the project, I feel, in fairness they should have refrained from making comments in a victorious vein, it does not sit well with many who they have effectively snubbed. It will not be forgotten I can assure them. varteg1

1:17pm Fri 6 Dec 13

paddyparry says...

Sometimes the Assembly get things right. Yes areas of the Varteg are an eyesore and would benefit from some significant landscaping. However the Assembly's own guidance states that oen-cast mining should be no less than 500m away from the nearest habitation. The houses and school are well within this boundary and the application was correctly refused.

Regarding the putting aside of more money than was first agreed, the minister states that there is no justification for the costiing on some of the work. If it costs more then who pays? Not Glamorgan Power, that's for sure. It will be the poor taxpayers and council taxpayers who, once again, foot the bill.

There is no mention of the impact on the roads in the area that are not designed to handle the amount of traffic that would be generated by the mine. Do you also expect that local jobs will be created for the community? Not much chance of that, is there.
Sometimes the Assembly get things right. Yes areas of the Varteg are an eyesore and would benefit from some significant landscaping. However the Assembly's own guidance states that oen-cast mining should be no less than 500m away from the nearest habitation. The houses and school are well within this boundary and the application was correctly refused. Regarding the putting aside of more money than was first agreed, the minister states that there is no justification for the costiing on some of the work. If it costs more then who pays? Not Glamorgan Power, that's for sure. It will be the poor taxpayers and council taxpayers who, once again, foot the bill. There is no mention of the impact on the roads in the area that are not designed to handle the amount of traffic that would be generated by the mine. Do you also expect that local jobs will be created for the community? Not much chance of that, is there. paddyparry

5:06pm Fri 6 Dec 13

BUDDAH WELSH says...

paddyparry wrote:
Sometimes the Assembly get things right. Yes areas of the Varteg are an eyesore and would benefit from some significant landscaping. However the Assembly's own guidance states that oen-cast mining should be no less than 500m away from the nearest habitation. The houses and school are well within this boundary and the application was correctly refused.

Regarding the putting aside of more money than was first agreed, the minister states that there is no justification for the costiing on some of the work. If it costs more then who pays? Not Glamorgan Power, that's for sure. It will be the poor taxpayers and council taxpayers who, once again, foot the bill.

There is no mention of the impact on the roads in the area that are not designed to handle the amount of traffic that would be generated by the mine. Do you also expect that local jobs will be created for the community? Not much chance of that, is there.
Nicely put and yes I also think that Carl Sargent made the correct decision. There is only 1 person who is upset by his decision and most know who that is. Coal all over is facing financial problems you only have to look at the mess it has left in Scotland. The companies are not seeing things through and leaving open cast sites worse than when they started. And the school and the residents are within the WG guidelines of 500 metres. I would be upset as well if I was going to get a wedge of money for a little bit of persuasion on a few neighbours that was stopped LOL. Some people think about no one else but their own selfish means regardless of who gets hurt or upset in the process health and communities should all come first in any decision made.
[quote][p][bold]paddyparry[/bold] wrote: Sometimes the Assembly get things right. Yes areas of the Varteg are an eyesore and would benefit from some significant landscaping. However the Assembly's own guidance states that oen-cast mining should be no less than 500m away from the nearest habitation. The houses and school are well within this boundary and the application was correctly refused. Regarding the putting aside of more money than was first agreed, the minister states that there is no justification for the costiing on some of the work. If it costs more then who pays? Not Glamorgan Power, that's for sure. It will be the poor taxpayers and council taxpayers who, once again, foot the bill. There is no mention of the impact on the roads in the area that are not designed to handle the amount of traffic that would be generated by the mine. Do you also expect that local jobs will be created for the community? Not much chance of that, is there.[/p][/quote]Nicely put and yes I also think that Carl Sargent made the correct decision. There is only 1 person who is upset by his decision and most know who that is. Coal all over is facing financial problems you only have to look at the mess it has left in Scotland. The companies are not seeing things through and leaving open cast sites worse than when they started. And the school and the residents are within the WG guidelines of 500 metres. I would be upset as well if I was going to get a wedge of money for a little bit of persuasion on a few neighbours that was stopped LOL. Some people think about no one else but their own selfish means regardless of who gets hurt or upset in the process health and communities should all come first in any decision made. BUDDAH WELSH

6:00pm Fri 6 Dec 13

varteg1 says...

Shows you both know diddly about the scheme, the whole matter of the school, the proximity of the housing,(mine is 50 metres from the main extraction point), or the costings, nor about the transport ,

Had you bothered to attend the inquiry, as I did, for the whole eleven days, you may have though differently than you do.

The matter of road transport was decided by the inspector after full
consultation with the Highways Authority which concluded, after serious study and research on the matter that there would be no significant extra loading in the road system..
What the funding of aspects of the scheme has to do with either the Assembly via Carl Sargent, or indeed the local authority, is anyone's guess, as none of those will be expected to pay a single penny towards whatever works are contemplated, so what Sargent is on about baffles the hell out of me.

In regards the much vaunted 500 metres buffer zone, in case it has escaped notice, that distance is a guideline it is NOT a hard and fast rule.

It will be Sargent's undoing if he manages to push through that into law, as it will forever stifle and strangle anyone attempting to do major landscaping works within that distance. The whole matter of the decision is based primarily on potential dust , noise and exhaust fumes, all of which are aspects of landscaping , I note with interest that no one has yet managed to find fault with the inspectors overall findings, the only comments are from people with a personal agenda, mainly to do with the school, no potential problems there said the inspector, the road use, again no problems said the inspector , dust , noises and fumes, no problems envisaged because GP would put on site facilities to reduce to an acceptable minimum any nuisance form those .

Now the funding... GP have satisfied the inspector, her was appointed to be satisfied, or not, he was satisfied that the project, was viable, cost effective, necessary for extraction, and the plans for refurbishing the land adequate and well funded., as was I, and quite a few in the immediate area, so the Assembly have had no reason to refuse the appeal

Carl Sargent patently has not the slightest idea to how he should respond to an Inquiry set in motion by his peers.

His decision is contradictory, vexatious, incomprehensible, except of course to the idolatrous name thief.. Budda a waster of oxygen if ever there was.

I suggest that in the face of all the scientific and study of the area, the geography, the investigation into flora and fauna , to decide in the manner so done is not only contentious, but seriously suspicious, considering the close relationship between this Minister and our local semi articulate AM. She who cannot even see herself residing in the constituency she represents.
Shows you both know diddly about the scheme, the whole matter of the school, the proximity of the housing,(mine is 50 metres from the main extraction point), or the costings, nor about the transport , Had you bothered to attend the inquiry, as I did, for the whole eleven days, you may have though differently than you do. The matter of road transport was decided by the inspector after full consultation with the Highways Authority which concluded, after serious study and research on the matter that there would be no significant extra loading in the road system.. What the funding of aspects of the scheme has to do with either the Assembly via Carl Sargent, or indeed the local authority, is anyone's guess, as none of those will be expected to pay a single penny towards whatever works are contemplated, so what Sargent is on about baffles the hell out of me. In regards the much vaunted 500 metres buffer zone, in case it has escaped notice, that distance is a guideline it is NOT a hard and fast rule. It will be Sargent's undoing if he manages to push through that into law, as it will forever stifle and strangle anyone attempting to do major landscaping works within that distance. The whole matter of the decision is based primarily on potential dust , noise and exhaust fumes, all of which are aspects of landscaping , I note with interest that no one has yet managed to find fault with the inspectors overall findings, the only comments are from people with a personal agenda, mainly to do with the school, no potential problems there said the inspector, the road use, again no problems said the inspector , dust , noises and fumes, no problems envisaged because GP would put on site facilities to reduce to an acceptable minimum any nuisance form those . Now the funding... GP have satisfied the inspector, her was appointed to be satisfied, or not, he was satisfied that the project, was viable, cost effective, necessary for extraction, and the plans for refurbishing the land adequate and well funded., as was I, and quite a few in the immediate area, so the Assembly have had no reason to refuse the appeal Carl Sargent patently has not the slightest idea to how he should respond to an Inquiry set in motion by his peers. His decision is contradictory, vexatious, incomprehensible, except of course to the idolatrous name thief.. Budda a waster of oxygen if ever there was. I suggest that in the face of all the scientific and study of the area, the geography, the investigation into flora and fauna , to decide in the manner so done is not only contentious, but seriously suspicious, considering the close relationship between this Minister and our local semi articulate AM. She who cannot even see herself residing in the constituency she represents. varteg1

6:25pm Fri 6 Dec 13

varteg1 says...

Shows you both know diddly about the scheme, the whole matter of the school, the proximity of the housing,(mine is 50 metres from the main extraction point), or the costings, nor about the transport ,

Had you bothered to attend the inquiry, as I did, for the whole eleven days, you may have though differently than you do.

The matter of road transport was decided by the inspector after full
consultation with the Highways Authority which concluded, after serious study and research on the matter that there would be no significant extra loading in the road system..
What the funding of aspects of the scheme has to do with either the Assembly via Carl Sargent, or indeed the local authority, is anyone's guess, as none of those will be expected to pay a single penny towards whatever works are contemplated, so what Sargent is on about baffles the hell out of me.

In regards the much vaunted 500 metres buffer zone, in case it has escaped notice, that distance is a guideline it is NOT a hard and fast rule.

It will be Sargent's undoing if he manages to push through that into law, as it will forever stifle and strangle anyone attempting to do major landscaping works within that distance. The whole matter of the decision is based primarily on potential dust , noise and exhaust fumes, all of which are aspects of landscaping , I note with interest that no one has yet managed to find fault with the inspectors overall findings, the only comments are from people with a personal agenda, mainly to do with the school, no potential problems there said the inspector, the road use, again no problems said the inspector , dust , noises and fumes, no problems envisaged because GP would put on site facilities to reduce to an acceptable minimum any nuisance form those .

Now the funding... GP have satisfied the inspector, her was appointed to be satisfied, or not, he was satisfied that the project, was viable, cost effective, necessary for extraction, and the plans for refurbishing the land adequate and well funded., as was I, and quite a few in the immediate area, so the Assembly have had no reason to refuse the appeal

Carl Sargent patently has not the slightest idea to how he should respond to an Inquiry set in motion by his peers.

His decision is contradictory, vexatious, incomprehensible, except of course to the idolatrous name thief.. Budda a waster of oxygen if ever there was.

I suggest that in the face of all the scientific and industrial study of the area, the geography, the investigation into flora and fauna , to decide in the manner so done is not only contentious, but seriously suspicious, considering the close relationship between this Minister and our local semi articulate AM. She who cannot even see herself residing in the constituency she represents.
Shows you both know diddly about the scheme, the whole matter of the school, the proximity of the housing,(mine is 50 metres from the main extraction point), or the costings, nor about the transport , Had you bothered to attend the inquiry, as I did, for the whole eleven days, you may have though differently than you do. The matter of road transport was decided by the inspector after full consultation with the Highways Authority which concluded, after serious study and research on the matter that there would be no significant extra loading in the road system.. What the funding of aspects of the scheme has to do with either the Assembly via Carl Sargent, or indeed the local authority, is anyone's guess, as none of those will be expected to pay a single penny towards whatever works are contemplated, so what Sargent is on about baffles the hell out of me. In regards the much vaunted 500 metres buffer zone, in case it has escaped notice, that distance is a guideline it is NOT a hard and fast rule. It will be Sargent's undoing if he manages to push through that into law, as it will forever stifle and strangle anyone attempting to do major landscaping works within that distance. The whole matter of the decision is based primarily on potential dust , noise and exhaust fumes, all of which are aspects of landscaping , I note with interest that no one has yet managed to find fault with the inspectors overall findings, the only comments are from people with a personal agenda, mainly to do with the school, no potential problems there said the inspector, the road use, again no problems said the inspector , dust , noises and fumes, no problems envisaged because GP would put on site facilities to reduce to an acceptable minimum any nuisance form those . Now the funding... GP have satisfied the inspector, her was appointed to be satisfied, or not, he was satisfied that the project, was viable, cost effective, necessary for extraction, and the plans for refurbishing the land adequate and well funded., as was I, and quite a few in the immediate area, so the Assembly have had no reason to refuse the appeal Carl Sargent patently has not the slightest idea to how he should respond to an Inquiry set in motion by his peers. His decision is contradictory, vexatious, incomprehensible, except of course to the idolatrous name thief.. Budda a waster of oxygen if ever there was. I suggest that in the face of all the scientific and industrial study of the area, the geography, the investigation into flora and fauna , to decide in the manner so done is not only contentious, but seriously suspicious, considering the close relationship between this Minister and our local semi articulate AM. She who cannot even see herself residing in the constituency she represents. varteg1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree