A Report from Tower Site Public Meeting by Karen Morgan Plaid Cymru Councillor for Hirwaun

Just returned from the Tower Site Public Meeting. A short agenda which generated a lot of questions and answers. In summary:
Storm Callum:
Tower is of the opinion that the recent flooding of the A465 and Rhigos Rd was due to matters out of their control, i.e the amount of rain and the size of the pipes under the roads. Those present expressed concern that Tower had a responsibility to work with all agencies to find solutions to ensure it does not happen again.

Public Access and Nature Conservation:
Tower presented proposals to transfer land after the restoration into a Trust which would be managed by a Community Committee which would try to make the best use of the land for community use. This would include a full H & Safety audit prior to transfer and no transfer of Tower's existing liabilities (e.g. maintenance of land after restoration). Tower was reminded of their planning obligation to build an Environmental Resource Centre on part of the land. Tower agreed to build the Resource Centre as planned. This centre could complement and support whatever other user groups choose to use the land e.g. Dark Sky Wales cyclists, walkers, fishing etc.

Public footpath restoration:
Tower explained that from discussions with planning officers and ecologists there was a proposal to not restore the mountain to its previous form but to retain the uncovered Rock Face wall as it was deemed to be useful for ecology purposes. Tower wanted to know what the community felt about the proposal. Those present suggested that if community feedback was wanted then a survey to all households would be the best approach. Tower also explained that if restoration works continue as planned then part of the public footpath above the Welfare Ground will be lost to public use. This use will be lost eventually as part of the Heads of the Valley Dualling. Tower wanted to know if the public would prefer it to remain open until the Heads of the Valley works commence. It was suggested that Tower could include that question in the survey.

I think I've covered the main points if there's anything I missed those who were there feel free to amend or add, please!

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