History / timeline

Ffos-y-fran and the East Merthyr Reclamation Scheme

The Planning Application for the ‘Ffos-y-fran Land Reclamation Scheme’, incorporating extraction of coal by surface mining methods, was granted planning consent in April 2005. This is in essence the third and final phase of the former East Merthyr Reclamation Scheme.

The East Merthyr Reclamation Scheme was the initiative of Mid Glamorgan County Council, the former Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council and Caerphilly Borough Council, in partnership with the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) and was launched in the late 1980s by the Secretary of State for Wales.


The East Merthyr Reclamation Scheme sought to reclaim the derelict and dangerous land to the east of Merthyr Tydfil using revenues from surface coal mining operations, restoring the land to beneficial use at no cost to the public purse.

Phases I and II of the Scheme have been completed (Phase I was 90.7 acres and Phase II was 158.1 acres) but Phase III was delayed, until recently, whilst access to the land was sought. Phases I and II have already brought about the restoration of 248.8 acres of derelict land, which today provides residential, light industrial and recreational uses.

Ffos-y-fran – The Final Phase

The ‘Ffos-y-fran Land Reclamation Scheme’, in its own right, is the largest of the original three phases and will restore over 900 acres of derelict land once complete.

The reclamation works will include the removal of shafts, adits and mine workings all previously associated with iron ore and coal workings as well as the removal of fly tipping and many burnt out and stolen cars from the site. This scheme will create a better and safer environment for the local community for the benefit of future generations. We will also ensure that the site is sensitively restored to encourage local biodiversity, by creating a range of different habitats for wildlife.


The three existing landfill sites, referred to as Tip 13, Hoover Tip (also known as Merthyr Tip Extension) and Merthyr Tip (also known as Cwmbargoed Tip), are historic tips from the 1970’s and 1980’s. At least two of the tips – Hoover (Merthyr Extension) and the Merthyr Tip – were tips owned and operated by the Council under a lease from the current landowners (DTIL). The leases only allowed the Council to tip inert waste so any liability of dealing with these two tips would lie with the Council. It was agreed at the time of the Ffos-y-fran PI that the council would require c. £19.5 million to deal with these tips. Due to the works carried out by MA these tips were dealt with without spending a penny of public money!

Fly tipping

Works on site commenced in June 2007 and will continue for a period of 17.5 years from commencement.



We plan to complete the Ffos-y-fran Land Reclamation Scheme by the end of 2024. We will end coal production by 2022, restoration will be finalised by 2024 which will then be followed by a five year aftercare.