National Park ensures 11 quarries stay closed

Over the past nine months, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority has submitted Prohibition Orders to the Welsh Assembly Government in order to revoke the rights to reopen eleven quarries scattered across the National Park.  In most cases the quarries had not been worked for many decades and their owners had given no indication of any intention to reopen them – which made the National Park Authority’s action all the more straightforward.

Ruth Brown, Park Plan Officer for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said:  “Planning permissions for quarrying generally don’t expire until 2042 unless an earlier date is specifically stated.  For us there is always a danger that these old quarries, most of which have mellowed into the landscape over time, could be reopened at any time if the operator applies for the approval of modern planning conditions. So, we are really very pleased to see these Prohibition Orders successfully confirmed by the Welsh Assembly Government.”

Chris Gledhill, Chief Executive for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority commented:  “The official closure of these eleven quarries is not only good news for the landscape of the Park, but also for the wildlife which has colonised these long-disused sites, and for the public at those sites which have public access or are visible from rights of way.”


The quarries that cannot be reopened are:
•    Carreg Dwfn Quarry, Trapp
•    Brownhill Quarry, Llandybie
•    Cwar Glas, Llangadog
•    Part of the River Amman, Rhosaman
•    Caerhowell Quarry, Penderyn
•    Danydarren Quarry, Cefn Coed-y-cymmer
•    Daren (Hillside) Quarry, Llangattock Hillside
•    Craig-y-gaer Quarry, Clydach Gorge
•    Darenfelen Crossing (Llanelly) Quarry, Clydach Gorge
•    Clydach Station Quarry, Clydach Gorge
•    Hafod Quarry, Brynmawr

Many quarrying permissions were granted in the years just after the Second World War, when there was a great need for raw materials for the South Wales steel industry. Some quarries served a particular need, especially those for silica, found in some strata of the Millstone Grit to make refractory bricks.  These were used for the linings of blast furnaces in the steel industry. Others, like many of the limestone quarries, had already been working for many years and were coming to the end of their economic lives. The limestone was burnt for an agricultural fertilizer, and also used in the steel industry, for building stone and general construction work. One of the quarries was specifically a road stone quarry. They have all been closed for many years, indeed decades.