News that plans to develop a large incinerator at Buttington Quarry near Trewern, have moved one step closer has been greeted with concern from local representatives, Russell George MS and Cllr. Amanda Jenner.
The Member of the Welsh Parliament for Montgomeryshire, Mr George, and Councillor for Trewern, Amanda Jenner have expressed concern over the timing of the pre-application during a time when public engagement is inevitably more limited during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The developer, Broad Energy, has recently started its six-week pre-application consultation to engage with residents.
Their plans propose the development of an incinerator for up to 167,000 tonnes of waste per year. The size of the Buttington Incinerator means that Welsh Government Ministers, under the Developments of National Significance Process, will make the decision on its approval rather than Powys County Council as the local planning authority.
Commenting on the publication of the pre-application consultation, Mr George said:
"This is just the first stage of the planning process so if you feel strongly about this issue then it is important that you make your points known both now and during the subsequent Welsh Government planning consultation too – if and when that happens.
Last year, my colleague, Councillor Amanda and I called for a moratorium on all new waste incinerators in Wales. The Welsh Government is currently considering its circular waste economy strategy, and I believe it should take time to consider the current capacity and the impact of incinerators in Wales, and also consider concerns which have been expressed by those on the Welsh Parliament’s Environment and Health Committees about the long term impact of waste incinerators on air pollution and carbon emissions."
Broad Energy have not yet formally submitted their planning application to the Welsh Government Planning Inspectorate. The developer has to do this pre-consultation themselves to engage with the community and the responses they receive will inform their application as they will respond to the issues raised during this consultation. The main consultation with Welsh Government decision makers will occur in the future if/when Broad Energy submit it following this pre-application consultation.
Cllr. Amanda Jenner added:
"Given that the plans to develop this incinerator have been in the pipeline for some time now, the timing of the pre-application consultation in unfortunate. Whilst Broad Energy have sent out information packs in the post to many residents, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public meetings cannot be organised to provide residents with wider information on what is a highly technical and emotive development.
"I have arranged to have a joint telephone advice surgery with Russell for the residents of Trewern, Buttington, Hope and Middletown on the 8th October (between 4.00pm-6.00pm). If you are resident in these areas and would like to speak to either Russell or me about the consultation, please feel free to call Russell's office on 01686 610887 so that we can arrange to speak with you during this time.
“Welsh Government Ministers need to look at our national waste strategy as a whole and ensure that waste is dealt with strategically and in the most environmentally conscious ways as possible, with waste being dealt with close to its source. Currently, the output of Co2 by incinerators is not restricted and there have been concerns raised that significant amounts of waste previously sent to incineration in Wales, have been recyclable. Given that the Welsh Government's waste strategy should ultimately lead to Wales producing less and less waste, now is the time put in place a moratorium on any new incinerators. It is for that reason that I have started a petition calling again on the Welsh Government to act now and put in place a moratorium on any new incinerators in Wales.”
Turning to the petition, started this week by Councillor Amanda, Russell George added:
"I welcome Amanda's petition, which is another way for residents of Powys, and indeed Wales, to have their say on how waste should, or should not be dealt with in Wales. I have been calling on the Welsh Labour Minister to introduce a moratorium on incinerators for some time now. I hope that this time, this issue will be given due consideration."
The pre-application consultation for the Buttington Incinerator started on 14th September 2020 and will run until the 29th October 2020. More information on how to engage with the consultation can be found on Broad Energy’s website - www.broadenergywales.co.uk
Link to Cllr Amanda Jenner's Petition: https://petitions.senedd.wales/petitions/244202