There are fears that the long-awaited restoration of the Parc Slip opencast site at Aberkenfig may be further delayed.
Aberavon AM David Rees asked at the National Assembly for information about strengthening the guidance issued to planning authorities in terms of opencast mining.
Mr Rees fears the restoration of the Parc Slip site, which straddles the Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot local authority areas, could be further delayed.
He said that when restoration applications are made in relation to the site, applicants promise the earth but later promise just a bit of that earth – because they haven’t got the necessary money.
He said: “Now they’re not promising anything because they say: ‘We’ve got to delay it again’.
“It’s important that if applications are approved, the individual organisation is held to account for its application. Can we therefore strengthen the advice on that area please?”
The Leader of the House, Jane Hutt AM, said that the fact that an alternative restoration scheme has been put forward at Parc Slip is important.
She said: “I understand that the details are still being finalised.
“Of course they will go to the relevant planning authorities, acknowledging your point about what impact we can have in terms of those regulations.
“It’s important to note that the Welsh Government has been clear that the UK Government, who benefited from the receipts of privatisation, should assist with the effect of restoration of the site.
“I think that is crucially important in terms of the way forward.”
Report by Michael Prosser