Span­ish slate to be used for reroof­ing work in Di­nor­wic’s shadow

Caernarfon Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Eryl Crump

A£2M scheme to re­fur­bish for­mer coun­cil houses in a Snow­do­nia vil­lage will see the prop­er­ties roofed with Span­ish slate.

Work to im­prove the houses on the Dol Eilian es­tate at Llan­beris has al­ready be­gun.

But the es­tate lies in the shadow of the Di­nor­wic quarry, once the sec­ond largest slate quarry in the world and the lifeblood of the vil­lage.

Al­though the quarry closed in July 1969, the spoil tips re­main.

Vil­lagers said they were dis- ap­pointed to dis­cover that Span­ish slate was to be used.

Cartrefi Cy­munedol Gwynedd (CCG) blamed Euro­pean reg­u­la­tions on the de­ci­sion to im­port the slate rather than source the ma­te­rial from the re­main­ing quar­ries in Wales.

The near­est is the Pen­rhyn quarry in Bethesda.

One res­i­dent, a for­mer slate quarry worker, said: “It’s a slap in the face for the hard work so many peo­ple put into work­ing in the quar­ries around Llan­beris.

“While I ac­cept that rules are rules and CCG must abide by them a way surely could have been found to make use of lo­cally-pro­duced slate.”

In re­sponse, a CCG spokesper­son said of­fi­cials are re­quired to com­ply with leg­is­la­tion and can­not ex­press a spe­cific pref­er­ence, nor bind con­trac­tors to a spe­cific ma­te­rial.

She said: “This is not a de­ci­sion driven solely by fi­nan­cial con­sid­er­a­tions, but based on fair, equal treat­ment of all sup­pli­ers and en­sur­ing value for money for us and our ten­ants.

“Th­ese slates are com­monly used across North Wales by a num­ber of pub­lic sec­tor bod- ies and fully com­ply with lo­cal author­ity plan­ning reg­u­la­tions.

“As one of the largest providers of hous­ing in Gwynedd, we are com­pletely com­mit­ted to bring­ing value to the lo­cal com­mu­nity through our con­tracts, with a vast range of com­mu­nity ben­e­fit clauses within our works and sup­plies con­tracts.”

“We are in­vest­ing over £2m on the Dol Eilian and sur­round­ing area in Llan­beris. Once com­pleted, our ten­ants will have bet­ter-in­su­lated homes, re­sult­ing in re­duced fuel bills. The scheme will also im­prove the ap­pear­ance of the es­tate. A sub­stan­tial amount of in­vest­ment hap­pens an­nu­ally on ex­ter­nal works to our houses and we’re very proud to be im­prov­ing the homes of our ten­ants whilst sup­port­ing the lo­cal econ­omy by pro­vid­ing jobs, train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and us­ing lo­cal sub-con­trac­tors and sup­pli­ers.”

Span­ish slate is sim­i­lar in colour to Welsh slate. In re­cent years, 90% of the nat­u­ral slate used for roof­ing in Europe orig­i­nates from Spain.

De­spite the cost of trans­porta­tion from Spain it is of­ten half the price of Welsh slate.

Pic: wrongstyle­v­ideog­ra­phy

● Llan­beris houses (top right of photo) are to get Span­ish slate roof tiles, right op­po­site the Di­nor­wic slate quarry

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