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Controversial quarry plan links to new wind farm

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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.

TARMAC: ‘NO AGREEMENT IN PLACE TO SUPPLY BRECHFA FOREST WEST’

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.

OBJECTORS’ FEARS

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.

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Carmarthenshire Archives’ new building officially opened

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ON MONDAY, November 28, Cllr Rob Evans, Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council, unveiled a specially designed plaque to commemorate the official opening of the brand new Carmarthenshire Archives building.

The official opening was attended by year 6 pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, along with their Headteacher Mr Dylan Evans, who designed the plaque by compiling various artwork and sketches that are housed at the Archives.

Established in 1959, Carmarthenshire Archives is the local authority archive service for the County of Carmarthenshire and the new building is located at St Peter’s Street, Carmarthen. 

The service is home to our extensive collection of historic documents that date from the 13th century to the present day. The collection includes archives, maps, books, photographs, videos and sound recordings. It is the Archives’ mission to preserve and make its documents available for general study and research.

Admission to Carmarthenshire Archives is free and open to anyone who wishes to use the Council’s records. Most of its services are free, but we do charge for some extra services and help.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Cllr Gareth John commented:

“Congratulations to the pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, they have designed an excellent and appropriate plaque that is inspired by the treasure troves of our archives. It was wonderful to welcome them to the official opening so that they can see their work take pride of place at a building that holds great significance to us in Carmarthenshire. 

“This is a brand new and modern building that is fit to keep and protect our county’s most precious historical documents. 

“But of course, these documents are meant to be viewed and studied by school children, students, academics and anybody who has an interest in Carmarthenshire’s rich history; and this excellent facility provides the perfect space for people to come and view these treasures.”

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Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities

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WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or Facebook.com/WWUtilities.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands

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OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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