City councilors of a small Welsh town on Wednesday unanimously rejected a company’s bid to build a new open-pit coal mine, defying the developer’s threats to sue them and attracting jubilant praise from residents and environmental organizations.
“This is a great day for democracy and people power,” Friends of the Earth Cymru (Wales) director Gareth Clubb declared Wednesday.
The decision by representatives on the planning committee of Caerphilly county borough came in response to a sustained campaign from local residents who oppose Miller Argent’s proposal for the Nant Llesg mine in the Rhymney valley, aimed at extracting six million tons of coal on 478 hectares of land.
The council initially opposed the mine proposal in June, but delayed the final decision until Wednesday.
Last week, Miller Argent threatened to sue the town if the bid was rejected. “We reiterate that in the event of a refusal and appeal, the substantial costs would be in no one’s interest,” the company wrote to the city. “Your officers have highlighted the potential for a substantial award of costs against the council. Miller Argent would seek to recover costs from the council.”
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