A RESIDENT living in one of the closest houses to the proposed opencast site in Varteg wants the project to go ahead.

It is now a year since the inquiry was heard into Torfaen council’s rejection of plans for an opencast mine, leaving uncertainty as to whether the application from Glamorgan Power to extract 325,000 tonnes of coal at Varteg, will go ahead.

John Morgan, 76, has lived on Pembroke Terrace for 31 years, in one of the closest houses to the proposed site.

He said: “Most of the people living close to the site are for the proposal, and we are not worried about the dust and the noise pollution.”

Mr Morgan claims that there will be no problems for the school, Ysgol Bryn Onnen, which is 120 metres away, over the planned site.

He said: “The works won’t impact on the school as there’s already heavy traffic.

Also the wind blows south to north so dust will not be blown on to the site.

“Children are only in school for 40 weeks of the year, so the project will be over and done with before they have realised.”

He believes that the vast majority of people complaining are not from the area.

He believes the benefits outweigh any noise and dust problems over three years.

Last week Assembly Member Lynne Neagle branded the year’s wait on a decision as “unacceptable”.

The appeal inquiry was heard in January last year and a decision has yet to be made.