A4138 junction: Concerns raised by councillors

Planning approval has been given for an inert waste processing centre at the former Morlais colliery on Pontarddulais Road, Llangennech following a meeting of the Planning Committee at County Hall on Tuesday, (Sep 5). Inert waste is waste which is neither chemically or biologically reactive and will not decompose. Examples of this are sand and concrete.

During the meeting the committee heard from the member for Llangennech Cllr Gwyneth Thomas and the member for Hendy Cllr Gareth Thomas.

Cllr Gwyneth Thomas told the committee that she had concerns about the additional HGV lorries and how close the Talyclun lights were to the entrance to the works. She said: “As you turn you have to turn again to get into the site itself. Many people feel the entrance to the site is insufficient and causes problems for walkers and other people who travel on the road. It goes agains TAN TR3 which states that new developments should not put a level of traffic that is unacceptable on nearby roads nor have a negative impact on road safety.”

Looking at a photo of the road showing only one car present she said: “It is strange to see a picture on the screen where the road is empty. There are daily tailbacks on this road, one of the most busy roads in Carmarthenshire with over 26,000 vehicles travelling on that road on a daily basis. We are concerned there are 60 lorries going in and out of the site daily. There are problems with Junction 48 of the M4 where cars often queue on the hard shoulder in order to come off at the Hendy. On the basis of road safety that is the main objection that I have. We think everybody accepts that road safety is essential and ask you to give full consideration to our concerns.”

Cllr Gareth Thomas began by apologising to the planning officer for going against what his recommendation was. He said: “We have to praise the fact we are recycling. I can sympathise with the levels of noise. The biggest problem I have is the traffic levels. It is one of the busiest roads in Carmarthenshire. I have heard there are 30,000 traffic on that road. It is always busy. There is heavy traffic on this road.”

Speaking about the dangers to pedestrians and road users Cllr Thomas said: “People race the lights. They race around the corner and down the hill. Within ten yards of that there could be a very large lorry in front of you. It could be slippery and wet and nothing would stop you if that lorry was crossing. I remember when there used to be an abattoir there and it was very difficult for lorries to come out of it when it was on that site. These lorries would be very large. That is the main reason I think everybody should reject this on the basis of road safety. I think it is an accident waiting to happen on this section of road and we are all responsible for that if we do allow this to happen.”

A report on the application is available on the County Council’s website. These were the  summary reasons for approval in the report.

In accordance with Article 3 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2004, the Council hereby certify that the proposal as hereby approved conforms with the relevant policies of the Development Plan (comprising the Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan 2015) and material considerations do not indicate otherwise. The policies, which refer, are as follows: SP1 Sustainable Places and Spaces, SP12 Waste Management, SP14 Protection and Enhancement of the Natural Environment, GP2 Development Limits, TR3 Highways in Developments- Design Considerations, EQ4 Biodiversity, EP1 Water Quality and Resources, EP2 Pollution, EP3 Sustainable Drainage, EP6 Unstable Land, MPP1 Mineral Proposals, MPP5 Aggregate Alternatives, WPP2 Waste Management Facilities outside Development Limits

 

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