Connect with us


Controversial quarry plan links to new wind farm



Tarmac: ‘No agreement in place to supply Brechfa Forest West’

Tarmac: ‘No agreement in place to supply Brechfa Forest West’

CRUSHED limestone and other aggregates from the Torcoed quarry complex between Crwbin and Porthyrhyd which, according to renewable energy company RWE Innogy, would be used in the construction of the Brechfa Forest West wind farm are at the centre of controversy.

Tarmac Trading, part of the Dublin-based Irish multinational CRH plc, has angered residents near the quarries with a planning application to remove the land separating its Crwbin and Torcoed Fawr quarries to create an industrial site about one-and-a-half miles long and a quarter of a mile wide.

The application, for which planning officers recommend approval, refers to six phases over 40 years, including restoration after quarrying ends.

The quarries – Crwbin in the west, Torcoed Fawr in the centre and Torcoed in the east – are on the north side of Mynydd Llangyndeyrn limestone ridge, a Site of Special Scientific Interest which has important archaeological remains, including two Neolithic burial chambers known as Bwrdd Arthur.

The quarry extension, at Ty Gwyn Farm, would bring the workings closer to the Neolithic remains.

Tarmac’s application seeks to regularise former unauthorised quarrying as well as the creation of new workings, to increase the potential output from 22 million to 33 million tonnes. The firm already has permission for a new access onto the B4306 between Bancffosfelen and Crwbin, just west of Blaengain Farm. The B4306 links Pontyberem and Bancffosfelen to the B4309 near Cwmffrwd, south of Carmarthen. The new quarry access would enable aggregates to be transported to Brechfa Forest, about 18 miles to the north on the far side of Carmarthen, without using an unclassified road.


As yet, though, there is no signed agreement for Tarmac to provide aggregates for Brechfa Forest West wind farm, said Tarmac spokesman Ben Lowndes. This is despite the fact that construction is due to start this month.

The installation of a mobile crushing and screening unit at the Crwbin quarry does indicate Tarmac’s intention to ramp up production. The firm says, though, that only about 20% of the current annual output of one million tonnes would leave by the Crwbin exit. The bulk of lorries would continue to use the Torcoed exit at the other end of the quarry complex.

More than 200 people have signed a petition against the quarry consolidation plan and, in addition, Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning department has received around 35 letters of objection.


Mrs G Bowen, of Rock Cottage, Crwbin, wrote to the planning department expressing her ‘disappointment that your office did not consider a 40 year programme of activities, which would clearly impact local residents, important enough to warrant individual notification letters. Rather, you have opted for a single notice obscurely posted inside the boundary of Crwbin quarry’.

Dr P James, of Heol Dyddgen, Crwbin, commented: “Crwbin residents and homes are not safe now and will become catastrophically worse if Tarmac continue this work.”

Objectors draw attention to road safety dangers, dust, noise, encroachment within the 400 metre buffer zone agreed in 1998, and damaging impact on the ecology and hydrology of Mynydd Llangyndeyrn.

The proposals affect 10 registered public rights of way, and would also further damage the ecology of the ridge. Natural Resources Wales, regarded in some quarters as often ineffective in matters of environmental protection, has ‘significant concerns in relation to ecological impacts but consider that these concerns can be addressed by the inclusion of appropriately worded conditions requiring the implementation of ‘protected species mitigation measures’’.

The construction of Brechfa Forest West will demand huge quantities of aggregates and other materials, including about 80,000 cubic metres of crushed stone for the one-and-a-quarter mile new access road, half of which is expected to come from the Torcoed complex and half from the forest site itself. The 28 turbines will require the huge quantity of 9,800 cubic metres of concrete foundations. During the 18-month construction period, the number of two-way vehicle trips would exceed 13,000, an average of over 48 separate trips each day.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Ascona Group announces new Car and Truck wash facilities



Charlie's Truck Wash

ASCONA GROUP, one of the UK’s fastest-growing forecourt operators, is pleased to announce two new vehicle washing partnerships as part of improvements to its unique roadside retail proposition across its forecourt estate.

As part of a new partnership with the American based PDQ Manufacturing, a leader for in-bay automatic vehicle washing facilities, Ascona Group will be the first in the UK to install the ‘Laserwash 360 Plus’, a touchless car wash system for its customers.

The partnership will initially expand the wash options at the Hinton Service Station, with a view to roll out the system to other sites under the Ascona Group’s brand, ‘Charlie’s Express Car Wash’ later this year. The partnership is a significant investment for Ascona and demonstrates its commitment to ever improving the experience for customers.

Ascona Group is also delighted to announce a strategic partnership with WashTec UK that will see Ascona introduce a ‘First of its Kind’ truck washing facility at the Tenby Road site on the A40 Eastbound in Carmarthenshire, which offers the very best technology available to HGV drivers.

The truck wash employs a fully ‘closed loop’ total water recycling system, the first of its kind in Wales, which recovers all water used within the wash process, filtering it for reuse with little or no water entering the mains drainage system. This system ensures Ascona not only has the best commercial wash in South Wales, but also offers customers one of the more environmentally friendly approaches in operation.

Commenting on the announcement, CEO Darren Briggs said: “From the very beginning, we knew that our sites must present our customers with a unique and compelling offer which is why we are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to improve our roadside retail facilities.

“These two new partnerships further demonstrate our focus on creating industry-leading propositions and we are really excited to be working with PDQ Manufacturing USA and WashTec UK. Together, we are keen to continue to build on the success of these new operations and we are actively reviewing multiple opportunities across the Ascona portfolio to roll out more units such as these.”

Continue Reading


Nearly £50,000 of National Lottery funding for community groups in Carmarthenshire



FIVE local community organisations across Carmarthenshire are celebrating after being awarded a share of £49,575 of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund over the past month.

One successful project was MolTân Makers who will use their £9,820 grant to provide metal working workshops for people wishing to improve their mental health and well-being. The group will reach out to mental health groups and the wider community and also allow people to reconnect with the community following the pandemic.

One participant with MolTân Makers explained, “ The course was professionally run by four hard-working people who helped us with one to one tuition when needed. They were so welcoming and adaptable to individual needs and allowed me to attend the course at different hours due to health reasons.

“They were great company and created an interesting and positive atmosphere to help people with mental and physical health problems feel included and understood and we all took home what we made in the course.”

The Hangout received £10,000 and will help young people improve their mental health and wellbeing through structured outdoor activity programmes. The project will build on a previous pilot project that led to more young people becoming re-engaged in school following the pandemic and continuing to volunteer with the group after the initial sessions finished.

The Alternative Learning Company in Llanelli were awarded £9,955 and will recycle plastic bottles to build full size greenhouses. They will propagate plants for growing schemes in local schools and communities. The project will reduce the levels of plastic sent to landfill or polluting open spaces, and give young people an understanding of the impact of climate change.

Newcastle Emlyn Town Council will build an outdoor structure in collaboration with the community, to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Jubilee. This £10,000 grant will fund building and design materials, and a water harvesting kit.

Messy Projects will use their £9,800 grant to run the activities and events they missed due to the pandemic. Activities will include celebrating the Queens platinum jubilee, a BBQ, and a Bonfire party.

John Rose, Wales Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said “These groups play a vital role in supporting their communities and these grants will allow them to continue being there for people in future. 

 ”National Lottery players raise more than £30 million each week for good causes across the UK and the projects funded over the past month show the crucial difference players make through their tickets. I look forward to following all of their progress.”  

Continue Reading


Family of power station worker calls on former colleagues to help with asbestos claim



THE WIFE of a Carmarthenshire man, who was just 66 when he died of an asbestos-related cancer, is calling on colleagues who worked with him in the 1970s to help understand where and how he contracted the disease.

Peter Colton, from Llanelli, died in July 2021 after being diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease, mesothelioma.

He worked as a conveyor and weighbridge operator for the CEGB at Carmarthen Bay Power Station. During his time at the power station, his duties included offloading coal wagons and conveying coal to the boilers.

It is possible that Mr Colton was exposed to asbestos during those years and now his family has sought the help of local asbestos specialists J.M Parsons, to investigate a claim for compensation.

Ann Colton, Mr Colton’s wife, wants answers. She said: “Peter was diagnosed with mesothelioma and died just six weeks later. He had been suffering from shortness of breath and just had no quality of life.

“It was devastating to see someone who had been so healthy and active slowly get worse and worse. We just want to know where and how he was exposed to asbestos and hope someone out there can help us.”

According to data from the Health and Safety Executive, annual mesothelioma deaths in Britain increased steeply over the last 50 years, a consequence of mainly occupational asbestos exposures that occurred because of the widespread industrial use of asbestos during 1950-1980.

Amanda Jones is one of the specialists at J.M Parsons, which is owned by Thompsons Solicitors. Thompsons has paved the way for asbestos litigation in the UK ever since it brought about the first successful asbestos disease claim to the House of Lords in 1972, 50 years ago.

She said: “We would be grateful to hear from anyone who remembers working with Peter Colton in Carmarthen Bay Power Station in the 1970s or anyone who worked in the same field as Peter beyond the 1970s.

“Such individuals will be invaluable to Mr Colton’s family as they may be able to add important information that will assist us in building a civil claim. We hope that we will then be able to answer questions about the conditions that Mr Colton worked in during his working life.”

Anyone with information should contact Amanda Jones on 01554 779940, or via email at

Continue Reading