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Public meeting held over Ystalyfera landslide fears

by Nicola Hendy

Residents of Ystalyfera in the Swansea Valley are meeting with the council this evening amid concerns that the area could suffer another landslide.

The village was hit just over a year ago when the ground gave way above the Panteg area.

A meeting will begin at six o'clock at the village's Panteg Chapel to discuss the fact that the area is now classed as being at high risk of a similar occurrence.

Public meeting to be held over landslide fears

Ystalyfera was hit at the end of 2012 and people were evacuated. Credit: ITV News

Residents of a village in the Swansea Valley hit by landslides will attend a public meeting this evening over fears they could be hit again. Ystalyfera was hit at the end of 2012 and people were evacuated from their homes.

A stability report commissioned by Neath Port Talbot County Council suggests the area remains at risk and properties in the villages of Pant Teg and Godre'r Graig are now in a high risk category landslide area.

Many residents fear their properties are now worthless if they are unable to sell them.

Residents are now concerned over coal mining plans for the area and fear if given the go ahead it could cause a major landslide in view of the volatile conditions. Residents say they fear another tragedy like Aberfan.

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Help for people and salmon

Shoal is removed to reduce flooding risk and provide spawning gravel. Credit: Natural Resources Wales

Natural Resources Wales says work being carried out is not only protecting people in the Upper Swansea Valley from flooding.

But it will also help to provide the conditions for salmon to breed.

About 500 tons of stones and gravel – called shoal – are being removed from the river bed where the Tawe meets the Twrch.

It'll let the rivers to flow more freely and reduce the risk of flooding to 268 homes and 3 businesses in nearby Ystalyfera.

Up to 35 lorry loads of the shoal will be washed and graded to determine their suitability as an environment for salmon to spawn.

Up to 40 per cent of the stones taken from the Tawe and the Twrch will be “recycled” in other locations as spawning gravel.

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Work begins to fully restore landslide area

The landslide in Ystalyfera forced nearby families to leave their homes Credit: ITV News

Neath Port Talbot Council have now cleared the site of a landslide in Ystalyfera and have started to work to restore the site to how it was before.

A spokesperson for the council said that so far this week they have spent time preparing the site, pulling out tree trunks and clearing the debris.

The landslide in the Swansea Valley happened in December and resulted in 13 families being forced to leave their homes.

Ystalyfera landslide clean-up operation begins

The landslide happened just three days before Christmas, forcing 13 families out of their homes Credit: ITV News

A clean-up operation begins in earnest today after a landslide in the Swansea Valley, which resulted in 13 families being forced to leave their homes.

Weeks of bad weather have hampered the clean-up, as well as causing further problems at the already unstable site.

Neath Port Talbot Council has already carried out safety work at Ystalyfera, but has been given the go-ahead by specialist engineers to start clearing the site properly.

The landslide happened just three days before Christmas, with many residents returning to their homes soon afterwards as they didn't wish to spend Christmas elsewhere.

Residents stay put - despite 'risk of further landslide'

People affected by a landslide in the Swansea Valley have decided to stay in their homes while the clear-up continues, despite being advised to leave by the authorities. Thousands of tonnes of rock have slipped down the hillside near Ystalyfera.

The council says there's a danger of further landslip, and repairs will have to proceed slowly. Our correspondent Richard Morgan has more.

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