Friday, 27 July 2012


Plans to build a waste incinerator on a former steelworks site in south Wales have been refused in part due to fears about the possible impact on a nearby regeneration scheme.

Newport City Council’s planning committee also refused the full application for the processor on the former Llanwern Steelworks site due to concerns about the ecological and transport impact of the development.

Members went against the advice of officers, who had recommended that the application by Veolia Environmental Services be approved, to vote eight to one against it.

According to the officers’ report, the energy-from-waste facility would process about 256,000 tonnes of waste with the heat and power generated used to power the nearby Tata Steelworks.

But a Newport City Council spokeswoman said: "The council’s planning committee voted to refuse planning permission to Veolia for the development of an energy from waste facility due to the impact it would have on ecology in the area, transport implications and also the potential effect it would have on the Glan Llyn development."

Property firm Savills had objected to the application on behalf of developer St Modwen because of fears about the impact on the Glan Llyn regeneration project nearby.

The redevelopment is being carried out by St Modwen and Persimmon, which have outline permission to build 4,000 homes.

Savills, whose objections included concerns about the visual impact, air quality, and noise, stated, the report said, that the impact of the waste development on Glan Llyn "has been seriously underestimated and overlooked".

However, planning officers said St Modwen’s fears were "not bourne out through experiences at other sites".

Concerns about the impact on nearby protected landscapes had been raised by Gwent Wildlife Trust and several community councils.

A Veolia spokesperson said the firm was "disappointed at the decision".

She said: "Our planning application represents a major long-term investment in Newport and has been designed to be sympathetic with the local landscape and environment whilst supporting the further development of the steelworks site."

The spokeswoman said the "sustainable energy" provided would have reduced the site's carbon footprint and the development would have provided 45 permanent posts plus about 350 jobs during construction.

She added: "We are pleased that Newport City Council planning officers recommended the application for approval and will now study the details of the decision and reasons for refusal. In the meantime we reserve our position on an appeal."

The council spokeswoman said Veolia could lodge an appeal with the Welsh government within six months.

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