Welshpool incinerator decision will be made next month

A decision will be made next month on plans for an incinerator near Welshpool.

How the facility could look as part of the Severn valley landscape near Welshpool
How the facility could look as part of the Severn valley landscape near Welshpool

In March, a hearing looked at a variety of evidence both for and against building a 13-megawatt energy recovery facility at Buttington Quarry.

The application by Alastair Hilditch-Brown of Broad Energy (Wales) Ltd, proposes: “Construction and operation of an energy recovery facility for the importation, storage and treatment of municipal, commercial and industrial waste and generation of heat and electricity.”

This would be done by incinerating 150,000 tons a year of residential, commercial and industrial wastes.

This development involves “re-profiling” a void in the quarry, earth works, changes to existing residential access and a new vehicle access from the A458 Welshpool to Shrewsbury trunk road

The scheme which could create 35 jobs and produce enough electricity to power 20,000 homes is seen as a Development of National Significance (DNS).

This means it has been being dealt with by the Welsh Government rather than gone through Powys County Council’s planning process.

Following the hearing, planning inspectors who probed the evidence had a deadline of April 29 to write and submit a report to the Welsh Government

This report will give the planning officers advice and recommendation to Welsh Government ministers on whether the scheme should be allowed to go ahead or not.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “PEDW (Planning and Environment Decisions Wales) sent the inspector’s report to Planning Directorate on April 29.

“The contents of the report are confidential until the final decision has been made.

“The period for making a decision on the application ends on July 22.”

Since the community were made aware of the potential development in 2018, a campaign group objecting to the proposal, public meetings and protests have taken place in Trewern.

Following the hearing Buttington Incinerator Impact Group, said: “It is impossible at this stage to anticipate the outcome, but we feel that the inspector was scrupulously fair and allowed all parties to contribute.

“He also seemed very on top of the paperwork and clearly had already done a lot of work in visiting the area.”

Powys County Councillor for the area Amanda Jenner said: “The process has been intense.

“The Buttington Incinerator Impact Group (BIIG) and I did our upmost to represent the community’s concerns, highlight discrepancies in the proposal and fight for the community’s interest.

“I really hope that our efforts are successful.

“If they do get permission, that will not be the end of the matter – they still will have to apply for an environmental permit from Natural Resources Wales (NRW)."

A spokesperson for Broad Energy said: “The inspector was extremely professional, very fair and listened to all the information presented to him throughout the hearing to hopefully enable him to make an informed recommendation to the Welsh Minister ahead of any formal planning decision due in July.”

The decision will be made by July 22.

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