Page last updated at 13:29 GMT, Monday, 15 June 2009 14:29 UK

Tip 'blocks' TV and phone signals


Residents of Rhosaman in Carmarthenshire have been having difficulties with mobile phone and TV reception

People living near an opencast coal tip say it has grown so tall it is blocking mobile phone and digital TV signals.

Residents in Rhosaman, Carmarthenshire claim they have noticed interruptions after Celtic Energy's East Pit returned to full production.

Some say they have had to change mobile companies and can no longer receive certain digital television channels.

Neath Port Talbot Council said the tip operated within the approved height granted by planning permission.

Some residents e-mailed BBC Wales Today to complain.

Trudy Kay of the Rose and Crown Hotel said: "You could be watching a channel and then it would just disappear.

"All the residents around here, when we all got chatting, we realised that all of us were losing channels and signals on different equipment.

"We've lost our phone signal. We were with a contract for o3 and that disappeared about six months ago so we've now had to change networks."

East Pit opencast
The height of the tip is within planning guidelines

The Rhosaman Association said the full resumption of mining had caused other issues as well.

Phil Rees said: "The tips behind me are so high now that it's blocking out the light.

"That's one of the main issues, plus we've got dust issues, we've got noise issues and we've got blasting issues as well."

Although Rhosaman lies within Carmarthenshire, East Pit is in Neath Port Talbot.

Head of planning Geoff White said planning consent for the opencast operation was granted by the Welsh Assembly Government in December 2004.

"The current height of the tip is within the approved height, current levels are approximately seven metres below the approved level," he said.

"With regard to dust, levels are continuously monitored. No readings to date indicate levels of fugitive dust that would be regarded as a nuisance, or that have breached published guidelines for air quality thresholds.

"With regard to TV and mobile phone interference, the authority has no enforcement powers in relation to this.

"However, these complaints have been forwarded to the company for their consideration."

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