South West Wales

Pontrhydyfen residents oppose gas test drilling application

Foel Fynyddau Forest Image copyright Jaggery/Geograph
Image caption UK Methane wants to drill on land within Foel Fynyddau Forest, in Pontrhydyfen

A bid to test drill for shale gas in Port Talbot woodlands has been the focus of a meeting by campaigners who want to halt the plans.

Residents of Pontrhydyfen fear the proposal by Bridgend's UK Methane could pollute and industrialise Foel Fynyddau Forest.

An earlier application was rejected by Neath Port Talbot council over noise level concerns.

The new proposal is the same but now has a noise management plan.

The company wants temporary permission to drill an exploratory borehole to test for coal bed methane and shale gases.

But organisers of the public meeting, the Afan-Nedd Against Fracking group, said they do not want to see exploratory drilling for gas because many are afraid it could lead to fracking for gas in the future.

Other concerns included the risk of pollution and water contamination to the local area.

Between 80 and 100 people attended the meeting on Monday evening.

UK Methane argues it has drilled six similar boreholes in south Wales over the past few years and has had no problems as a result, adding that the industry could even lead to more jobs in the area.

The application is currently out to consultation until 19 February.

Image caption The Plaid Cymru assembly member Bethan Jenkins was among those who addressed the meeting

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