Campaigners call for public consultation over permit for waste centre near Newtown

Campaigners against a £4.3 million recycling facility at Abermule near Newtown say there has to be public consultation over the environment permit application.

A protester at a recent demonstration
A protester at a recent demonstration

When the original permit application was refused by environment body, Natural Resources Wales. Powys County Council said it would appeal the decision.

This week, the council announced a u-turn and said it was submitting a fresh environment permit application to run the North Powys Bulking Facility.

Campaigners against the bulking centre

A spokesman for Abermule Communities Together campaign group said: "We would not only welcome a public consultation on any new permit application for the Abermule recycling facility — we insist that we should have the opportunity to respond to the details contained in any revised application.

“The application was afforded High Public Interest status previously, and we would expect the public consultation on any new application to also receive the same status.

“Whilst we look forward to see if the council has satisfactorily addressed previous concerns, there still remain a number of unresolved issues which continue to be of grave concern to this community.”

“These include the continuing failure to provide any form of automatic fire suppression.

“We would also expect any new application to address the issues of residual waste, the previous proposal to store nappies and incontinence pads, in non-sealed unlidded skips, and the still-unaddressed issue of unacceptable odour levels being discharged directly onto the business units which are now nearing completion."

The site at Abermule photo: Elgan Hearn

David Lee, North Powys environment team leader for Natural Resources Wales said: “Should we receive an application for the North Powys Bulking facility at Abermule which is duly-made, then its determination would include a public consultation.”

The council council said that to strengthen the the fire prevention and mitigation plan for the facility, it will apply for planning permission to install a water tank on the site.

Cabinet member for a Greener Powys, Councillor Jackie Charlton said: “We understand their concern at the possibility of taking residual waste to the site, but we would reiterate the previous position that there are no current plans to do so.

“The safe operation of the site is paramount, and the installation of the water tank should give some comfort to the community who have expressed concern about not having enough water on site in the event of an emergency.”

The site would receive recycling collected from households across Montgomeryshire, the “bulked,” so that it can be more easily transported to processors to turn into new products.

The council has stressed that the facility is needed so that it can hit Welsh Government recycling targets.

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