Further to my previous post, the residents of the tiny hamlet of Five Roads near Drefach Felindre have issued an excellent press release explaining their opposition to the proposed recycling centre. They have also formed a Facebook group "No Dump at Five Roads" and produced a bilingual information site (address below).
One of the things which never ceases to amaze is how, even in the smallest communities in Wales, you can find passionate and talented people. Five Roads is a tiny pin-prick even at the level of county council wards, and yet something tells me that the County Council has picked a fight with more than it bargained for.
The press release makes reference to the rich birdlife of the area, something Cneifiwr can attest to. There are buzzards, red kites, ravens and flocks of curlews up there in the winter. Also, just a couple of hundred yards from the proposed dump site is a stretch of World War II defences in the form of huge concrete blocks stretching across the fields. This is one of the best preserved stretches of a defensive line which ran for more than 70 miles across the South West of Wales. Pob lwc iddyn nhw.
Five Roads Action Group formed to fight against site of proposed ‘North West’ recycling Centre
11th December, 2011 – Residents of villages in the vicinity of Five Roads, five miles from Newcastle Emlyn, have come together to form an Action Group (FRAG) to campaign against plans for a substantial recycling centre for Northwest Carmarthenshire on a green-field site at Five Roads to the South of Drefach Felindre. The FRAG committee is keen to point out that it believes in recycling but is strongly opposed to the location of the proposed site with its forecast 3000 tonne annual throughput and numerous drawbacks.
Local residents were not consulted about Carmarthen County Council’s (CCC’s) planned site for the recycling centre (application W/25658) on a plot of land at Five Roads, where planning permission was refused for a bungalow in 1975 and applications continue to be rejected because the area falls outside the County’s ‘development areas’. The plot of land immediately adjoins an active smallholding along its boundary to the South.
The proposed site conflicts with CCC’s unitary plan intentions for preserving the character of the area overlooking the Teifi Valley: a local bird specialist (Sally Hall) says “It is in an area dominated mainly by large, open, exposed fields so this particular piece is quite unique and forms a valuable wildlife habitat with much potential as a food source and nesting area for birds”. This area of natural beauty mixes upland agriculture and forestry with a number of tourist businesses and attractions such as the Nant Gronw Country Park used by equestrians. Increased lorry traffic on the approach road to the proposed recycling centre would seriously affect the riders approaching the Park, which is accessed from that road.
The large-scale site, set at an altitude 270 metres, would be floodlit by night and visible from the other side of the valley as well as having an adverse effect on the various and numerous wild-life species in the locality that includes birds in red and amber danger categories. The site is very exposed and winds are much stronger than in the valley, allowing rubbish to be blown around the locality. Snow settles here when valley roads are clear and Five Roads has been cut off for weeks as a result.
The large expanse of the concreted-over site could affect and contaminate both surface-water run off and boreholes for dwellings in the vicinity and it is not known whether an environmental impact assessment has been made. The approach roads from North and South are small country roads, single track on much of their length and with poor surfaces that always erode badly and develop bad potholes in the winter as a result of water runoff and frost. The five road junction, where at least two school bus stop twice a day, is very dangerous and vulnerable to heavy lorries travelling too fast on the transverse East/West road connecting the A484 and the B4333: the new centre would introduce three new entrances to the junction. It is not believed that a ‘movement impact assessment’ has been carried out.
Along with the local impact on a remote rural area is the more general point of needing to meet the Welsh Assembly’s constitutional commitment to sustainability. The main centre of population is at Newcastle Emlyn, where a new supermarket has been approved. An assessment needs to be made of how many more car trips would be made as a result of the inhabitants of NCE making trips to the recycling plant rather than those in outlying areas combining a trip to town with one to a recycling plant were it to be situated closer to the town. Carl Sergeant, Minister for Local Government, has recently introduced a ‘Compact between the Welsh Government and Welsh Local Government’ setting out a framework for closer cooperation between Welsh local authorities in three key areas: education, social care and waste. It does not seem sensible for Carmarthen to forge ahead with its own site when cooperation with Ceredigion could open up the Cardigan site to people from neighbouring counties and tie in with the Welsh Assembly attempts to increase efficiency.
If you would like to help with the fight to protect the unspoiled area at Five Roads then please contact the Five Roads Action Group at firstname.lastname@example.org
For press enquiries, contact:
John Ellis, Press Officer, Five Roads Action Group (at address above)