RESIDENTS in a north Ceredigion village are rallying against the popular Rali Ceredigion event, saying it will render them ‘prisoners in their own homes’.

Several residents have contacted the Cambrian News outlining their concerns and villagers, with the help of the Geneu’r Glyn Community Council, are set to launch a petition against the event.

Resident Tadeusz Olewicz says he and his neighbours received ‘orders’ in the post from Ceredigion County Council saying they will be confined to their homes while the event runs its course.

The ‘ground-breaking’ rally is set to return on 2 and 3 September and last time out drew thousands of people to the towns and villages of Ceredigion – and to the slaloming country roads running through the county and the Cambrian Mountains.

Though a highly anticipated event for many, villagers have questioned the county council over its lack of consultation and argue the narrow B4353 running through Llandre is particularly unsuitable for the rally.

Mr Olewicz in a letter to the Cambrian News says the event brings with it ‘a significant risk of injury, disability or even death and makes us feel like prisoners in our own homes.’

Back in January, Geneu’r Glyn Community Council discussed residents’ concerns about the rally being held on the road through Llandre.

Another resident Gweneira Williams told the Cambrian News: “This decision to give permission to this rally without any discussion with the residents has angered many residents.

“There is concern for the safety of lives and to our properties and the damages inflicted by hundreds of fans on the surrounding area, the noise created, and pollution inflicted on us residents.

“To be confined to our properties for three days and all this without consultation with the villagers in advance of this decision making.”

Villager Arwyn added: “There is ample space in the mountains above Penrhyncoch for this rally to go, why come to a quiet village?

“The letter that was dropped through letterboxes says we will be restricted from leaving our homes at certain times of the day!

“This is wrong on all counts. The council did not consult us before issuing these ‘orders.’

“Did they just take money from the company that is running the rally and not think of the consequences?”

Mr Olewicz says the sound of the engines – passing through the village at least three times during the event – will be deafening.

He also says the council will focus on the income generated rather than the emissions associated with the event and all the preparation ahead of it – which he says makes a mockery of its ‘climate emergency’ pledge.

He also says long-standing concerns about traffic in the village have been ignored by the council.

In response, a spokesperson for Ceredigion County Council said: “Rali Ceredigion is a privately organised event that generates enormous economic benefits to Ceredigion.

“This is an international event that profiles Ceredigion at its very best, it has wide national television and worldwide social media coverage.

“The organisers ensure it is a carbon neutral event and are keen to showcase new technologies in the sport with an electric powered vehicle running in last year’s rally and the potential of a hydrogen powered vehicle entering the event this year.

“The hospitality sector reported significant occupancy rates over the event weekend last year with cafes, restaurants and bars reporting a very high increases in footfall.

“The social media spread ensured our natural resources were showcased to a worldwide audience and this has subsequently benefitted the wider tourism sector.

“These are all priorities identified within the council’s corporate strategy and therefore committed to providing long term support to the event.”