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Miller Argent claim that the Ffos-y-fran opencast coal mine will bring economic development to Merthyr once it is completed in 2025. Even if this is true, some residents believe that until then the scheme will have an adverse effect on the local economy.

Many residents in Merthr feel that the proximity of the opencast coal mine has significantly reduced the value of their properties, making it difficult, if not impossible for them to move away.

Under sections 149-171 of The Town and Country Planning Act 1990, residents living close to a ‘planning blight’ may be “able to require the relevant authority to purchase their interests”. A number of residents in Merthyr are organising a group litigation against Miller Argent to compensate them.

The owner of this house (right) quipped that the cat (bottom right) is actually white, but dust from the opencast (top right) has turned it black.

An alternative perspective is that the litigation is purely opportunistic – that local ‘campaigners’ are simply trying to extract money from Miller Argent, a view expressed by Ceinwen Statter: