Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blaenau Gwent have renamed the Canyon "Tir Pentwys Tip"

Someone sent me this link, does anyone have any solid evidence about this ?
The answer has come back pretty quickly ... click here  YES


In their new Local Development Plan Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council have described our beautiful canyon as "Tir Pentwys Tip" in their summary leaflet and followed Torfaen Council by allocating it as a preferred area for mineral extraction i.e. quarrying !!

The whole canyon has been marked as a Preferred Area, which are "areas of known mineral resources with some commercial potential, and where planning permission might reasonably be expected"

Please oppose this by filling in the form at http://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/environment/15675.asp 

Some extracts from the LDP are included below, but the key points to make are:
  • You object to the Policy SP12, in particular the allocation of Tir Pentwys as M4 Preferred Area, because you value the Canyon for its beauty/biodiversity/tranquility/geology etc.  The area is well used for walking, cycling, horseriding etc.
  • The site is designated as both a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation and is in a Special Landscape Area.  Surely these designations mean that it would not be appropriate to quarry aggregate there?
  • The impact of noise and dust should quarrying take place would be unacceptable.
  • The local road network is not suitable for large numbers of HGVs, and the proposed access road in neighbouring Torfaen's Tir Pentyws Planning Application would destroy ancient woodland.
  • The definition of a Preferred Area seems to indirectly promise planning consent to a development on the site via "the back door".

So the Canyon seems to be :-
M4 - Preferred Areas are areas of known mineral resources with some commercial potential, and where planning permission might reasonably be expected
M1 - Safe guarding area - No development allowed that might stop quarrying
ENV3 -SINC Site of importance for nature conservation

The LDP says on page 108 -
"M4 Preferred Areas
Preferred Areas and associated buffer zones are identified at:
1. Adjacent Trefil Quarry, Tredegar (200 metre buffer)
2. Tir Pentwys Tip, Llanhilleth (200 metre buffer)
3. Land South East of Cwm, Ebbw Vale (200 metre buffer)

8.84 The Regional Technical Statement (RTS) on Aggregates identified the need to assess the potential to make a resource allocation of at least 3 million tonnes in the LDP. According to the RTS ‘where feasible this is to be limestone’. A recent permission for the deepening of Trefil Quarry has resulted in an additional resource allocation of 2.24 million tonnes which means that Blaenau Gwent needs to identify a further 0.76 million tonnes.
8.85 It has not been possible to allocate specific sites to meet the shortfall of this
requirement. Instead three preferred areas have been identified. Preferred Areas
are areas of known mineral resources with some commercial potential, and where
planning permission might reasonably be expected. Any application for aggregate extraction will be considered against Policy DM19 and national planning policy. 
8.86 Land adjacent to the existing Trefil Quarry has been identified as an area of known
mineral resource with commercial potential. The resource may provide for a continuous supply for use as building stone and in making concrete. Development of the site is dependent on the ability to address a number of environmental concerns.
8.87 The Tir Pentwys Tip lies east of Llanhilleth within the Pennant Sandstone outcrop. It is a westward extension of the Tir Pentwys spoil reclamation proposal in neighbouring Torfaen County Borough Council. No sampling or testing information for the western part of this area has been seen but it is likely that it will contain High Specification Aggregate and lower quality general fill material. Development of the site is dependent on the Torfaen part of the site receiving planning permission."

The LDP says on page 103
"ENV3 Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation
Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation are identified at the following

118. Tirpentwys Cut
8.76 The current provision of SAC’s and SSSI’s alone is not sufficient to maintain the biodiversity of Blaenau Gwent. It is therefore important to identify locally designated wildlife sites such as Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC). Blaenau Gwent currently has 137 SINC’s which are shown on the Proposals Map. Work is in progress to designate a number of other SINCS. As soon as a site has been assessed and qualifies as a SINC under the ‘Guidelines for the Selection of Wildlife Sites in South Wales’ and ‘Mid valleys Criteria for the selection of SINCs’ (Gwent Wildlife Trust, 2004 and 2008), then its status as a SINC will be honoured and it will be covered by this Policy.

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