Representatives of the Community Council met yesterday with Welsh Government representatives including Gerwyn Evans who is the lead civil servant for the Gilestone Farm project. There was a wide ranging discussion which was both amicable and informative. Topics discussed included:
- The methodology and findings of the recent survey.
- The adverse impact the uncertainty about the project was having on the village, with polarisation of views and how to address this. Specifically the need to quickly get clarity around the plans and reach a point of a draft lease.
- The impact that dealing with this project was having on the day to day business of both the Council and the Welsh Government civil servants trying to deal with it, how to manage this.
- The potential impact of the recent osprey nest site on the project.
The Community Council left the meeting reassured by the commitments given by the Welsh Government representatives, particularly around improving communication with the community as well as around the environmental and wildlife issues. We felt that there was real progress towards plans that may eventually gain more widespread support throughout our community. Certainly this felt like a genuine consultation.
The Welsh Government have commissioned a report from an expert ornithologist on the implications of the osprey nest on the farm and following its receipt will share it with the Council and have offered to then meet with the community to give more detail and answer questions. In the light of this undertaking we would ask all in the community, both for and against the project, to give the Welsh Government the time it needs to assess any new information over the next few weeks.
A more detailed note of the meeting will be published on the Council website as soon as its text is agreed in conjunction with the Welsh Government.