The Plas Kynaston Canal Group held a public meeting for residents of Cefn Mawr and surrounding villages on Friday 23rd November. The meeting, regarding the remediation of Cefn Mawr, aimed to give local people the opportunity to find out about the group’s ambitious plans for the development of the site of the former Monsanto chemical works.
The group’s plans, which would see them clean the land and construct the Plas Kynaston Canal and Marina, along with a cable car system, would cost a total of £57 million. However, they are confident that this money can be raised from mineral deposits at the sites of the former Monsanto and Air Products works. The project will also create up to 600 jobs in Cefn Mawr.
Before going ahead with the project, the group want to make sure they have a clear public mandate from residents. Voting forms can be downloaded and give people the chance to vote for the remediation option that the group have put forward, or for a large ‘affordable’ housing estate to be built on the site as has been indicated by in local authority plans, or for it to remain a polluted site but be fenced off.
In addition to the vote, the group also want to carry out the most comprehensive risk assessment possible and make sure that the deposits have a proven commercial viability. However David Metcalfe, who spoke at the meeting, stressed that “This is not a get rich quick scheme, it’s about cleaning up and rebuilding the local area.”
The group will aim to sell £5 million worth of shares in their new company, the Plas Kynaston Canal and Railway Company. The shares will cost £100 each and will be sold directly to the public, with a maximum of 10 shares per person. The group estimate that the shares will provide an annual interest rate of 10%. People will be able to buy them from Our Local Bank, where HSBC used to be in Cefn Mawr. In addition, 1 share will be given to all people living in the area who vote for the remediation plan, with the condition that this share can’t be sold for a 5-year period if the scheme goes ahead.
For more information on the project, the group are hosting a 2 day exhibition at the George Edwards Hall in Cefn from 10:00 to 16:00 on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th March. You can also find out more on their website.