Updated: Campaigners rally in round two of Llanharan drilling fight


Hendre Owen Farm, Llanharan, Rhondda Cynon Taf. Photo: Frack Free Wales

Politicians from three parties, including two members of the Welsh National Assembly, attended a public meeting this evening to discuss news that Coastal Oil and Gas is fighting on with plans to explore for unconventional gas.

The company has appealed against the refusal of its application for an exploratory test well at Hendre Farm, Llanharan, near Pontyclun.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council decided last year that the scheme would have “an unacceptable effect on the interest of residential amenity, cultural heritage and landscape importance”. The site is opposite the Grade 2 listed Llanharan House and its historic park and garden.

The meeting, at Llanharan Con Club, was hosted by Llanharan Against Fracking. The group’s chair, John Davies, said:

“We explained the appeal process, reasons for rejection by the Council’s committee in September 2015, and our plans to oppose.”

“We had representatives there from three political parties, including two national assembly for wales members.”

“We have until 4th May to get our arguments in to the planning inspectorate and constructing our arguments will now be the focus of our attention.”

Earlier, a spokesperson for the group said:

“We need the community to come together again because this is the point where most communities loses their fight. Don’t assume others can fight to keep you safe. We need to show a united community.”

Appeal details

The details of the appeal were listed today Link here. It will be decided by a hearing in front of an inspector.

No date has been set for the hearing but the first information from the council and company is due on Wednesday 4th April.

Coastal Oil and Gas

Coastal Oil and Gas is one of 17 mostly energy companies based on an industrial estate in Bridgend in Mid Glamorgan. Details. Gerwyn Williams is a director or consultant engineer of all of them.

More Welsh fracking news

Newport petition

Newport City Council said today it would tell the Welsh Government about a petition, signed by more than 1,000 people, calling for a ban on fracking or unconventional gas extraction.

The petition was delivered last week. Newport Friends of the Earth coordinator Dave Yates called on the council to listen to local residents and make the city frack-free. He said:

“Fracking isn’t needed here or anywhere and has been linked to many problems such as increased climate change emissions, air and water pollution, increased lorry movements and decreasing house prices.”

But a council spokesperson said the authority had no powers to ban fracking. She said:

“In February 2015, the Welsh Government’s minister for natural resources issued a directive to all local planning authorities which effectively imposes a moratorium on such applications.”

“Any applications for fracking or unconventional extraction of gas would be called-in and determined by Welsh ministers in accordance with the government policy of promoting renewable and low carbon forms of sustainable energy rather than oil and gas.”

“We will make the Welsh Government aware that we have received this petition.”

Welsh anti-fracking film shown to MPs

The Guardian reports the documentary A River about opposition to shale gas drilling in the Welsh village of Pontrhydyfen is being shown to MPs at Westminster today.

The film is narrated by the Welsh actor, Michael Sheen, and has original music from Robert Del Naja and Euan Dickinson of Massive Attack.

It describes how the Afan river, which flow runs through Afan Forest Park, has recovered from pollution caused by mining but now faces a threat from fracking in the area.

Updated 24/3/16 to include quote from John Davies and information about attendance.

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