What and where is The British?
The British is the largest remaining site of industrial dereliction in South East Wales, with Torfaen County Borough Council purchasing 1,300 acres of the site in late 2016. The site is situated in Talywain and it is now a major regeneration project.
Phase 1 Works: First piece of the jigsaw
This phase is essential to improve the safety of the site and is the first piece in The British Masterplan jigsaw. The Masterplan for the site was developed in partnership with the community and stakeholders – it was approved by Torfaen Councillors in November 2018.
Phase 1 focuses on the area of the site known as ‘The Black Patch’ and the ‘Former Iron Works’, addressing the highly challenging and historic health and safety hazards. This involves investigation and treatment of shafts and adits, in addition to the creation of a new watercourse.
The watercourse will reduce the risk of surface flooding in the area and aid biodiversity on the site. A new pond will be created and this will be connected to a new above ground watercourse that will reduce the use of the deteriorating underground culverts.
This first phase has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
Current progress and works
In 2022, work began with an investigation of the shafts and adits that exist along the proposed new above ground watercourse. This work included two key Land and Drainage surveys which captured and analysed important site data.
This data helped inform the next stage of extensive investigatory work undertaken during the Autumn of 2022. Quantum Geotechnic Ltd were commissioned to undertake this work which consisted of:
- An initial stage of capturing subsurface (below ground earth material) data using mechanical equipment on site. This was completed during February 2023.
- A second stage of laboratory soil sampling testing and analysis completed in Spring 2023.
The results of these investigations have contributed to the detailed design for the proposed above ground (new reservoir, pond & watercourse) drainage scheme and mine entry remediation.
A Pre-Application Consultation (PAC) took place between Friday 25th August and Friday 22nd September 2023 for the proposed new drainage scheme. This provided members of the public with the opportunity to view the proposed plans and other supporting documentation, and make their comments. This consultation is now closed and thanks to those that provided comments. Responses to comments received will be incorporated into a report and submitted with the formal submission of the of the planning application in due course.
Working in partnership with Gwent Wildlife Trust
In addition to these essential Phase 1 works, Torfaen Council is working in partnership with Gwent Wildlife Trust (GWT).
Since the launch in April 2022 of our partnership with GWT, an exciting and diverse programme of free wildlife focused events and activities, including volunteering opportunities have enabled the local community to get involved and learn more about The British.
A new member of staff, Kevin Donovan, has joined the GWT team as The British Community Officer. Kevin will be continuing the programme of free events over the coming months.
Find out more about GWT events and activities at The British at Gwent Wildlife Trust.
Where can I get more information ?
Join the project’s mailing list to receive updates and volunteer here.
Contact the project team on 01633 648083.
Last Modified: 22/09/2023
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