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Case Update

We’re heading to court to stop illegal coal mining

16th August 2023

Good Law Project is supporting Coal Action Network to end the illegal coal mining operation at Ffos-y-Fran in Wales.

Coal Action Network

With more than 1,000 tonnes of coal loaded on to lorries in Ffos-y-Fran every day, Coal Action Network have launched a bid in the High Court to stop illegal coal mining in Wales.

Good Law Project are helping them launch a Judicial Review, so that a judge can decide if the Welsh Government and Merthyr Tydfil council are breaking the law by putting off a decision to bring mining to a halt.

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Planning permission for the mine ended in September last year and the council has known about unlawful mining at the site since January 2023. The council issued an enforcement notice in May, but the company running the mine, Merthyr (South Wales) Ltd, appealed and mining still continues. A stop notice would halt operations at the mine, but the council hasn’t issued one.

The company announced on Tuesday that they plan to stop mining on 30 November. But that would mean another 106 days of illegal mining and more than 100,000 tonnes of coal.

“It’s outrageous that a company should declare they’re planning to keep breaking the law for three more months,” said Good Law Project legal manager, Jennine Walker.

Since mining continues in Ffos-y-Fran, with over 270,000 tonnes of coal removed since planning permission expired, we believe the Welsh Government must step in. Not only has the council failed to take effective action, but public bodies have a responsibility under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 to think about the long-term impact of their decisions and prevent health inequalities, poverty and global heating.

The council argues that there is no need to rush a complex decision, while the Welsh Government maintains that it is an issue to be decided by local authorities. But we think it’s very simple and there’s no time to waste.

We’re seeking an urgent hearing to bring the unlawful activity at the site to an end. We’re asking the court to force Merthyr Tydfil council to decide about a stop notice within seven days. And if the council fails to stop this illegal mining, we’re asking the judge to require the Welsh Government to act instead.

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Join us as we help Coal Action Network get justice for the local community and stop Merthyr Ltd making illegal profits at the expense of people’s health.


This article is part of our We’re taking action against illegal coal mining in Wales case

Good Law Project is supporting Coal Action Network and the local residents they work with living in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, to end the illegal extraction of coal at the Ffos-y-Fran open-cast coal mine.

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