The Heads of the Valleys area has benefitted from recent investment over the last two decades, which has led to the creation of new jobs and tourist attractions, improved roads, cycle routes and footpaths as well as town centre regeneration and large scale environmental projects.
If the proposals for an open cast mine at Nant Llesg are approved, many of these benefits would be reversed, permanently. The cost to the community in terms of health could extend to three generations, with central and local government and health providers picking up the bill, affecting future budgets and putting a massive strain on local resources.
After the mining project is completed, jobs disappear and are not easily replaced. Communities are often left with a legacy of unemployment, poor health issues, depressed house prices, a rise in crime and a host of other social problems.
Introducing open cast mines will not only have a detrimental impact on employment in the area, but it will also affect any future demand for housing and lead to erosion of existing house values.