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Traveller group told to stop digging into Nantyglo hillside

06 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Land below Porters Road, Nantyglo, Blaenau Gwent. Image supplied by resident.

A Traveller group has been ordered to stop removing tonnes of earth from a hillside in the village of Nantyglo.

Blaenau Gwent Council has served a “stop notice” to the landowners, following locals raising fears the excavation could cause a landslip.

The earth has been removed from a sloping field next to Nantyglo Rugby Club in Blaenau Gwent.

The works have been going on for more than a week, with residents complaining of heavy machinery since late March.

The bungalows to the front of the site are mostly occupied by pensioners – with one of them reporting fears of reprisals if they complain, and another afraid to open their curtains.

According to one resident, the field was sold last year and has covenants for grazing only, and has no planning permission.

Planning breach

Stop notices are served by planning authorities when there are concerns there has been a breach of planning rules.

The notice will be in place for 28 days.

Speaking to the BBC, a Blaenau Gwent Council spokesperson said: “We consider that there has been a breach of planning control by the unauthorised excavation of this land.

“This includes importation of material, creation of embankments and re-profiling of the area.

“The (stop) notice requires that the activity specified is stopped with immediate effect.”

The council also said it has commissioned independent experts to assess the stability of the land but had concluded there was no immediate risk to properties in the area.

Land below Porters Road, Nantyglo, Blaenau Gwent. Image supplied by resident.

Ahead of the stop notice being issued, some 874 people signed a petition calling for a halt to the “unauthorised occupation” of the land.

One person said: “Why should people ride roughshod over planning regulation?

“If and when that landslips it will be the taxpayer picking up the tab.

“The council must act now and stop these unauthorised land works.”

Another said: “This is not just morally wrong but the risk of road collapse due to close excavation is massively increased.

“This is a very busy road they are digging alongside.”

The owner of the site told the BBC the land would be used for grazing horses, but did not deny there were plans to turn it into a settlement in the future.

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Gareth Westacott
Gareth Westacott
1 month ago

These so-called ‘travellers’ think they are beyond the law and can do whatever they like. Individuals and those in the immediate vicinity most affected feel powerless to do anything about it for fear of intimidation and reprisals. Only robust collective action will avail.

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