Cambrian News photographer - The work being carried out at Aberystwyth harbour

THE Welsh Government is to investigate complaints over sludge dredged up from Aberystwyth harbour and dumped on South Beach.

The Cambrian News reported “Residents complained after diggers scraped up tons of sludge from the harbour bed, before dumping the “oily” dredged material on the beach.

Resident Ian Halling, who was at the scene, said the dredged material was “congealing”, while another said he was worried that “heavy metals” were present in the sludge.

The area dredged by the county council was near the end of the River Rheidol which over the years has been polluted by abandoned silver and lead mines and heavy-metal contamination such as zinc.

Following the complaints, Natural Resources Wales – which issues the licence for dredging to Ceredigion council – said it had referred the matter to the Welsh Government to investigate.

Ceredigion council said the sampling and testing requirements had been complied with and that under the licence the dredged material was allowed to be spread on South Beach.

Cllr Martin Shewring said: “Residents need assurances that proper testing and sampling was carried out.

“I have had many residents in my ward voicing concern over the dredging. The smell was horrendous and I have raised the concerns with the council. We need to know if there is going to be an environmental impact from this” here.

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