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Margam open cast site will re-open to public in 2018

14 December 2017

Restoration works on the former Margam open cast site near Kenfig Hill will be completed within the next year, when the site will re-open to the public.

A new drainage system has already been created so that water which has filled the void remains at safe levels, while landscaping work on the surrounding land is progressing well and old industrial structures are being removed.

Some have already been demolished, while the main building will be knocked down this side of Christmas.

Many of the rights of way throughout the 195 hectare site will also be reinstated by the end of 2018.

As the site sits on the border between Bridgend County Borough and Neath Port Talbot, the two local authorities have worked together on the scheme with Natural Resources Wales and the Coal Authority, who are overseeing the works.

Councillor Huw David, the Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council said: “Since coaling operations ended in 2008, we have been one of the parties involved in discussions to consider the restoration, long-term safety and future use of the Margam open cast site.

“Unfortunately, the original restoration scheme was not carried out by Celtic Energy and the land owners Oak Regeneration, so both councils have spent a considerable amount of time trying to resolve the issue as we don’t have the funds to fully restore the site ourselves.

“The site has been a concern for Kenfig Hill, Pyle and Cefn Cribwr residents for a number of years, and our main priority was always to make the site safe and deliver a solution that didn’t involve any further coaling operations.

“Because the void had been filling with water for nearly a decade, an essential element of the scheme was to reduce the risk of flooding by creating an overflow channel which redirects water into the nearby river at a consistent flow. This work was completed recently.

“The void has become a lake that measures about 700m at its widest point, while trees and shrubs have been planted and large areas have been sprayed with grass seed so it will soon be a much greener site that residents can enjoy and where nature can flourish.”

Councillor David added: “Special care was taken during the clearing works as the site contains a number of protected species including great crested newt, dormice and otter. The future plans will ensure that the long-term management of their habitat is not only maintained, but enhanced.”

The restoration is costing around £5.5m and is being financed by the money in the restoration fund that was set up by the site operator as part of the final phase of coaling. Neither council is contributing any funding towards the restoration.

The Coal Authority is overseeing the distribution of funds to ensure that the works are carried out within budget.

Last Updated: 14/12/2017
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