What we are doing to identify any risks to public safety from coal tips.
In February 2020, the impact of climate change saw increased winter storms with extreme rainfall. This caused a landslip at a disused coal tip in Tylorstown, Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Coal tips are a legacy of Wales’ mining past. Welsh Government is committed to ensuring our communities are safe.
In response to the Tylorstown landslide, the Welsh and UK Governments set up a joint Coal Tip Safety Taskforce. This was set up to assess the immediate status of disused coal tips in Wales.
Programme of work
Welsh Government and its partners are delivering a programme of work. This includes inspection and maintenance of coal tips. It also includes developing new policy and legislation.
Disused coal tips are being given interim categories. The categories reflect which tips may need more frequent inspections to assess drainage and stability. Higher-rated tips have a C or D category.
Inspections and maintenance
A lot of work has taken place since February 2020 to know the status of each tip and to carry out maintenance.
The Coal Authority or relevant local authority are inspecting the higher-rated tips. Further inspections will take place on a regular basis, helping to identify any signs of tip movement and any maintenance work needed.
Local authorities carry out maintenance work identified by the inspections. Welsh Government has made £44.4 million available in capital funding for coal tip maintenance over financial years 2022 to 23, 2023 to 24 and 2024 to 25.
Welsh Government is funding technology trials at suitable higher-rated coal tips. These aim to identify technologies that could contribute to the safe and effective management of disused tips.
The trials cover more than 70 sites in Wales. We will review the results of the trials as they are completed.
What to do if you have concerns about tip safety
This team holds information and can offer safety advice about historical coal tip sites in Wales.
You can also contact your Local Authority directly with any concerns or queries.
Coal tip data
Work is ongoing to gather information on coal tips across Wales. This includes information on the number, location, status and ownership of tips.
We published the following interim data on 26 October 2021:
|Neath Port Talbot||12||27||163||375||30||607|
|Rhondda Cynon Taf||23||52||95||89||44||303|
|Isle of Anglesey||2||6||8|
|Overall category total||71||256||678||1155||296||
A = Minor tip/restored tip; B = Unlikely to cause risk due to size or location;
C and D = Potential to cause risk. A higher rating does not mean a tip is
at imminent risk.
*R = Now removed or built over
1. Ceredigion, Conwy, Denbighshire, Gwynedd, Newport and The Vale of
Glamorgan have no recorded disused coal tips.
2. Figures are subject to change as a result of ongoing inspections and
following the development of a new categorisation system.
Policy and legislative reform
Coal tip safety is devolved to Wales. The law relating to coal tips is The Mines and Quarries (Tips) Act 1969. This dates from when there was an active coal industry.
Welsh Ministers asked the Law Commission in 2020 to review current legislation on disused coal tips.
It included a consultation from June to September 2021. The Law Commission published the results of the consultation and its recommendations in March 2022.
Welsh Government published its proposals for a new regime on 11 May 2022 in the Coal Tip Safety (Wales) White Paper. The proposals build upon the Law Commission’s recommendations. The consultation closed on 4 August 2022 and we published a summary of the responses in November 2022.
Welsh Government published its interim response to the Law Commission’s review in September 2022 and its detailed response in March 2023. Welsh Government accepted, or accepted in modified form, the majority of the Law Commission’s recommendations. The response provides an overview of Welsh Government’s proposed approach, and its response to each of the individual recommendations.
Subject to Ministerial agreement, Welsh Government will introduce a Bill on Disused Tip Safety in the third year of the government's legislative programme.
Privacy notice for landowners
- Written Statement: Responses to the consultation for the Coal Tip Safety (Wales) White Paper
- Written Statement: Coal Tip Safety (Wales) White Paper
- Oral Statement: Coal Tip Safety
- New data shows true scale of coal tip challenge as First Minister makes fresh funding call (26 October 2021)
- Written Statement: Update on Coal Tip Safety (11 October 2021)
- Written Statement: Update on Coal Tip Safety (11 February 2021)
- First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford calls coal tip safety summit (23 December 2020)
- First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford and Secretary of State Simon Hart chair Coal Tips Summit (5 August 2020)
- Secretary of State Simon Hart and First Minister Mark Drakeford chair meeting to discuss coal tip safety (25 February 2020)