A response from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council REF: Coal Tips a Freedom of Information Request

A response from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council REF: Coal Tips a Freedom of Information Request

Below is a response from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council under Freedom of Information December 21 2021 


Your request for information has been considered in accordance with the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.


The Council’s response is set out below:


A            The list of all coal tips within the boundary of Rhondda Cynon Taf?

B            The name and locations of the 23 coal tips with category D within the boundary of RCT?

C            The name and locations of the 52 coal tips with category C within the boundary of RCT?

D            The name and locations of the 95 coal tips with category B within the boundary of RCT?

E            The name and locations of the 89 coal tips with category A within the boundary of RCT?

F            The name and locations of the 44 coal tips with category R* within the boundary of RCT?

G            How many coal tips is RCTC responsible for the name and locations and what category risk status are they?

H            How many coal tips are in private ownership the name and locations and what category risk status are they?


Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with the information that you have requested above (A – H).  This is because the information is still in the course of completion and has not yet been finalised, therefore we are applying the exception set out under Regulation 12(4)(d), namely material still in the course of completion.  In accordance with Regulation 14 of the Environmental Information Regulations this email acts as a Refusal Notice to those elements of the request.


Having considered the Public Interest Test, the public interest in maintaining the exception outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.  If the information were released to you before it has been analysed and fully completed, it could mean that the Council were releasing inaccurate and incomplete information and we have a responsibility to ensure that this does not happen.  Releasing the information before it has been fully completed could also result in a number of concerns and queries being raised by the public that would delay the full publication of the document, which we understand is to be released during the first quarter of 2022.


I             How many coal tips are The Coal Authority responsible for the name and locations and what category risk status are they?


You will have to re-direct this part of your request to the Coal Authority.   Contact details are as follows: 



J          How regular are coal tips monitored and inspected, coal tips category D, category C, category B, category A and category R*?

·       Category D1 – once every Month

·       Category D3 – Once every 3 months 

·       Category C – Once every 6 Months

·       Category B – Once Every 12 Months

·       Category A2 – Once Every 2 Years

·       Category A4 – Once Every 4 Years 

·       Category R – These Tips are ‘Reclaimed’ therefore no inspections are undertaken

K          How many surveyors and engineers are employed to monitor and inspect coal tips for any movement or activity in the 303 coal tips.

1 x Senior Technician

1 x Senior Engineer

The Flood Risk Management Team also support the tip inspection process undertaking tip inspections.  This work is further supplemented with inspections by external consulting engineers and The Coal Authority.

AberdareOnline has requested an appeal.

Your appeal has been referred to the Director of Legal Services at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, who will undertake a review of the way your Freedom of Information Request has been handled and you will receive a response within 20 working days.


AberdareOnline has requested information from The Coal Authority under the Freedom of Information and environmental regulations Act


Ref: Coal Tips once owned by the National Coal Board in Rhondda Cynon Taf

Under the freedom of information and environmental regulations Act please can you supply the following information?

1 Do The Coal Authority hold Halcrow Reports for all coal tips in RCT and what dates were the reports commissioned? If not all coal tips, what coal tips in RCT have you got Halcrow Reports for and the dates the reports were commissioned?

2 Have The Coal Authority provided or supplied The Welsh Government or Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council with copes of Halcrow reports or any other reports on the coal tips in RCT? If the answer is yes to question (2) What dates were the reports provided to The Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council?

3   I have been informed The NCB and Coal Authority has sold off many of its coal tips for as little as £1 to avoid any liabilities incurred is this correct?

4 If the answer to question (3) is no what is the average cost of tips sold by (A) The NCB and (B) The Coal Authority in RCT?

5 How many coal tips are the Coal Authority still liable for in RCT?

6 If the Coal Authority has coal tips in RCT where are they cited and what category has been placed on them? I am aware that the Welsh Government and RCTC hold this information but they refuse to publish it on the grounds it is an ongoing process, will The Coal Authority hide behind this excuse? The NCB records on coal tips should be made public and placed in the public domain unless The Coal Authority has something to hide?

7 As The Coal Authority was asked by Natural Resources Wales and The Welsh Government to look into the safety of coal tips in Wales What is the ongoing process that prevents publication of where the coal tips are located? If it is the continuous monitoring of the coal tips it would mean the information would never be made public, or is there another reason can you explain?

The Coal authority should respond by 31 January 2022



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