12 April 1996

6000 sign petitions to prevent abattoir plan

TWO petitions with more than 6000 signatures have been presented to a Welsh local authority to try to stop a 29,022 sq m abattoir development.

Cornwall-based St Merryn Meats is being encouraged by the Welsh Development Agency to build their new slaughterhouse at Pengarnddu, Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, an area of high unemployment.

But local residents, and companies occupying sites on an adjacent retail park, say the derelict land site is unsuitable for a plant killing 2000 lambs and 300 cattle a day.

Opponents acknowledge that 700 new jobs are needed urgently, but claim the £20m abattoir would drive away other businesses, so there would be little real gain in the medium term.

The WDA sponsored project was due to be discussed by Merthyr Tydfil Borough Councils planning committee on Thursday. A spokesman for opponents of the scheme said that that if it was given approval they would appeal to the Welsh Office for a public inquiry.