In May 2013 at the Bonvilston Reading Room, 60 people gathered to protest against an application to drill a test bore hole for gas in Llantrithyd and as a result, Villagers Against Drilling was established. Since then support has continued to grow with hundreds of people putting their names to our on line and paper petitions. All of this has been invaluable to our cause and in gaining publicity which, in turn, has linked us in tiny Llantrithyd to thousands of others across Wales and the UK who are opposed to this kind of development.
The continuing support led, in January 2014, to the Llantrithyd Residents’ Association being formed. Its aims are to prevent the exploration and production of hydrocarbons in the Llantrithyd postal address area. It also promotes and facilitates the development of the environmental, cultural, economic and social well-being of the area, watching and safeguarding the interests of the residents. The Association represents over 90% of the village.
The application to drill was made by a company called Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd and despite all our objections and representations The Vale of Glamorgan Planning Committee voted in favour of the test drilling on agricultural land beside the Bonvilston to Llancadle road, between the chapel and Caemaen Farm.
The company has already said that if it finds gas there it is likely to apply to extract it.
• This is an inappropriate site for this activity.
• The field in question is in a prominent rural location and opens onto a blind bend on busy country lane with a historically high accident rate.
• There have been 15 recorded sightings* of Priority and Protected Species, including the noctule bat, soprano pipistrelle bat, pied flycatcher, common grasshopper warbler, spotted flycatcher, the Eurasian curlew, European turtle dove, northern goshawk and bluebells.
•There are 11 recorded sightings* of Species of Conservation Concern, including the long-eared owl and green woodpecker.
• There are 39 recorded sightings* of Species of Local Conservation Concern, including the Iceland Gull, the wood anemone, agrimony.
• Lies the only Organic Deer Park in Wales. It is home to 160 red deer and 20 fallow deer. The farm is obviously hugely worried about harmful chemicals being pumped into the ground on the nearby land. The park dates back to the 1640′s and is listed in the historical records. As Maria Leijerstam says “Drilling here would be a disaster!”
• Lies a stretch of Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland*.
(*Source: South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre (SEWBReC))
• Lives a family of peregrine falcons*, for more than 10 years now, who are successfully breeding. The peregrine falcon is afforded the highest degree of legal protection under schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
(*Source: The British Trust for Ornithology)
• Lies The Llantrithyd Conservation Area, set up in March 1973 to preserve “the character or appearance” of an area of special architectural or historic interest.
• The Conservation Area also seeks to protect Nant Llantrithyd brook and the biodiversity and wildlife that surrounds it.
In March 2009 the Directorate of Environmental and Economic Regeneration recommended to the Vale of Glamorgan Council cabinet that:
“Development which impacts in a detrimental way upon the immediate setting of the Conservation Area will be resisted.
“The Council will resist applications for change on the edges of the Conservation Area which would have a detrimental effect on the area’s setting.”
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You can still sign the e-petition, hundreds already have, but it’s still not too late to add a few more signatures.
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ITV Wales news http://www.itv.com/news/wales/story/2013-10-03/vale-gas-test-drill-meeting/
Wales Online/Echo http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/vale-glamorgan-gas-drill-plans-6137071
S4C news http://www.s4c.co.uk/clic/c_level2.shtml?series_id=512220504
BBC Wales news online http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-24377955
BBC Wales Online http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-24376142
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