Blaenau Gwent Council Submits Planning Application for Drilling Works on Common Land
BLAENAU GWENT County Borough Council has lodged a planning application with Welsh Government planning inspectors to allow drilling works on common land to take place.
The council has submitted the application so that they can conduct exploratory works on part of Bedwellty Common and see whether the land is suitable for use as a burial ground.
In their submission Blaenau Gwent’s planning agent Gareth Aubrey said: “The works will include the creation of cable percussive boreholes; machine excavated trial pits; and the installation and monitoring of gas and groundwater standpipes into boreholes and trial pits, all to be removed and reinstated as required at the conclusion of the works period.”
As the “burial authority” for Blaenau Gwent the council is responsible for the Cefn Golau cemetery in Tredegar which is to the east of the site on Bedwellty Common that the council want to investigate.
The council has said that new burials at Cefn Golau have been suspended due to “adverse ground conditions” there.
The application explains that the council has conducted “feasibility studies” on the capacity of cemeteries all around Blaenau Gwent to find out what the “potential” is in each one for expansion.
The council said: “Suitable land for expansion of cemetery provision within the county borough is very limited owing to a number of factors including the topography of the land, steep sided valleys, dense settlement patterns and land ownership.”
Iif the exploratory works show that expanding the cemetery “is physically possible” the proposal would then be the subject to a public consultation.
If people support the proposal the council has identified land that it owns that they would be willing to swap for the common land.
This council land which is near the common is currently used for grazing.
If the planning application is successful, the site will be fenced off while the groundwork investigation takes place – but this would not prevent people from using and “enjoying the rest of the common.”
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