Welsh Government’s delay in stopping mining at Ffos-y-Fran may be ‘unlawful’

Continued coal extraction at Merthyr Mawr could be illegal, lawyers have said. According to BBC Wales an enforcement notice giving Ffos-y-Fran opencast mine in Merthyr Tydfil 28 days to stop extracting coal came into effect on Tuesday.

It comes after the mine was ordered to close after 15 years when Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council’s planning committee voted in April to refuse an application to extend the time of operations there until March 2024. The company behind the mine, Merthyr (South Wales) Ltd, said the coal was needed for the steel industry but council planning officials said that the company failed to clearly demonstrate that the extraction of coal was needed to support industrial non-energy-generating uses.

They also highlighted the need to decarbonise citing climate change and emission reductions. In May Merthyr Tydfil council released a statement with an enforcement notice issued to Merthyr (South Wales) Ltd and any other persons with an interest in the land at Ffos y-Fran requiring the end of the extraction of coal from the land.

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Branwen Jones