Home » Trees, benches and footbridges set to be installed near site of Tylorstown landslide
Politics Rhondda Cynon Taf South Wales

Trees, benches and footbridges set to be installed near site of Tylorstown landslide

The aftermath of the Tylorstown landslide which happened during Storm Dennis

TREES, benches and footbridges are set to be installed around the areas where material from the Tylorstown tip landslide was moved.

Two applications related to the receptor sites for the material from the tip in the Rhondda, where a landslide occurred in February 2020, were approved by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s planning committee on Thursday, August 17.

One involves keeping the land form created by the deposit of approximately 19,700 cubic metres of material from Tylorstown landslip at land across from Oaklands Business Park in Ferndale which includes proposed bench seating, small footbridges over drainage channels tying into the local path network, panels and a ‘stepping stone feature’ and the other is keeping 740 cubic metres of material from Tylorstown landslip on land to the south of Station Road in Ferndale with the planting of trees.

The proposals in full are for the retention of the majority of the temporary land form in its current form, minor remodelling and earthworks to help with the installation of a new 2m wide footpath through part of the feature, the installation of two footbridges which will link the proposed new footpath to the footpath/cycleway route in the valley floor to a footpath running up the valley side, the installation of two benches and two “interpretation panels” on the top of the land form adjacent to the new footpath link, the indicative setting out of a number of stepping-stones through the upper platform of the feature, new features to deter unauthorised access, minor alterations to existing drainage infrastructure arrangements and proposed landscaping, habitat mitigation and enhancements.

Councillor Jayne Smith, a member of the committee and councillor for Ferndale and Maerdy, said: “The work they’ve done to mitigate the damage from the landslip has been fantastic to date.”

The planning report said that on February 16, 2020, Storm Dennis caused the Llanwonno Upper Tip to fail above the village of Tylorstown resulting in a large landslip followed by a smaller secondary event.

The result was that approximately 28-30,000 cubic metres of slipped colliery tip material filled the valley bottom from the toe of the slope outwards filling the Afon Rhondda Fach’s channel and diverting its course to the western side of the valley bottom.

The diverted river began eroding the western bank of the river creating an approximately 5m vertical unstable face and threatened to undermine the Rhondda Fach Leisure Centre overflow car park adjacent to the top of the bank.

The slipped material also seriously damaged and breached a main sewer beneath the leisure centre, downstream of the landslide toe, felled numerous trees in its wake and covered a water main below a former railway line used as a walking and cycling route.

Urgent work had to be undertaken to move the slipped material to prevent further damage and three parcels of land, conveniently located close to the slip a short distance upstream along the valley floor and capable of safely accommodating the large amount of material required to be stockpiled, were identified to receive the material.

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Two planning applications for the temporary deposit of the slipped material, covering the three sites used were approved in January 2021 which both included an identical planning condition requiring submission and approval of the permanent land form and proposals.

Thereport said that the council, as the applicant, said it considered an alternative option of removing the materials from site, but this would have had negative environmental consequences as well as resulting in 3000 HGV road journeys through Ferndale (or potentially 9000 HGV movements travelling through Blaenllechau using smaller vehicles).

It also said the proposals will provide benefits to the community in terms of extending the leisure walking route option, facilitating the upgrading and extension of the active travel route and extending the diversity and value of local habitats.