COUNCIL officers are resisting efforts to create a link between community representatives and the company behind a controversial quarry, according to Caerphilly’s Senedd Member.

The quarry on Gelliargwellt Uchaf Farm, run by the Bryn Group, has caused tension in the community due to concerns about dust, noise pollution and lorry movements.

Speaking in the Senedd, Labour MS Hefin David called for a liaison committee to be set up linking the Bryn Group with councillors and residents in Gelligaer, Penybryn and Nelson.

Dr David, who is a former county borough councillor for the St Cattwg ward, said: “We had a very effective liaison committee that was established by Caerphilly County Borough Council that ended just before the pandemic began.

“I’m trying to get the liaison committee re-established with the cross party support of local councillors, and I’m finding a lot of resistance from officers of the council for reasons I can’t understand.

South Wales Argus: The quarry at Gelliargwellt Uchaf Farm. Picture: Google Maps

The quarry at Gelliargwellt Uchaf Farm. Picture: Google Maps

“One of the things they are saying is that a liaison committee would somehow be unlawful.”

A meeting was held with Dr David, ward councillors and council officers to discuss the communications strategy between the council and residents last week.

Responding to Dr David in the Senedd, Wales’ minister for rural affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said liaison committees “help to de-escalate community tensions where businesses are operating very close to communities”.

Ms Griffiths added: “I certainly think where they work well – and they do work well in many places – they certainly help and they’re certainly not unlawful.”

Jennifer Price, a manger at the Bryn Group, said: “We’d be very happy to see the discussion group start work again.”

Plaid Cymru councillor Judith Pritchard, who represents the St Cattwg ward, also voiced her support for reinstating the liaison committee.

A Caerphilly County Borough Council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Hefin David MS has been involved in discussions with the council’s cabinet on this matter.

“He has previously been advised that the proposal is being considered fully along with other community engagement measures. As soon as we have agreed details, these will be communicated fully to all parties.”

A decision on whether or not a committee will be set up is expected to be made by the council’s cabinet.