'If We Can Succeed Then So Can You': Campaigners Celebrate Rejection of Major Coal Mine Extension at Nant Llesg

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A major new coal development in Wales has been rejected, once and for all, by the UK’s Planning Inspectorate.

Dawn Bowden, assembly member for Merthyr Tydfyll and Rhymney, where a major extension to an existing coal mine had been proposed, wrote on Facebook:

I have just been advised that Planning Inspectorate has written to the legal representatives of the appellants for the Nant Llesg appeal advising them that the appeal will now be closed, and no further action will be taken with it.”

This news will, I am sure, be widely welcomed by the communities in the Upper Rhymney Valley.”

The Nant Llesg extension would have allowed mining company Miller Argent to extract another six million tonnes of coal from its Ffos y Fran site, the company claimed. The UK used a total of 12 million tonnes of coal for power in 2016.

Caerphilly council rejected Miller Argent’s plans for the Nant Llesg extension in August 2015. The company put in an appeal before Christmas the same year.

It appears that the Planning Inspectorate has now closed the door on Miller Argent’s plans by refusing to continue with the appeal.

Local resident, Eddy Blanche, who has for years campaigned against the mine extension, told DeSmog UK:

It’s been a long hard slog, but finally it’s over. Today is a great day for the people of the valleys and the country as a whole. I hope our win gives some hope to other campaigns. If we can succeed then so can you.”

The number of times we were told by people. ‘it’s a done deal you will never stop it’ and ‘you are wasting your time you can’t fight them they have too much money’. It just goes to show. The only battle you are sure to lose are those you choose not to fight.”

Miller Argent has been contacted for comment.

The Planning Inspectorate’s decision to shut down Miller Argent’s appeal was the second rejection of a major new coal development this year.

In March, then Communities Secretary Sajid Javid rejected proposals for a coal mine at Druridge Bay in Northumberland, citing concerns the development could not fit with the UK’s climate goals. A new coal mine is proceeding in County Durham, however, despite local opposition.

Image: Eddy Blanche. Updated 20/09/18: The headline was changed.

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Mat was DeSmog's Special Projects and Investigations Editor, and Operations Director of DeSmog UK Ltd. He was DeSmog UK’s Editor from October 2017 to March 2021, having previously been an editor at Nature Climate Change and analyst at Carbon Brief.

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