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Barry Biomass: politicians welcome shutdown order

  Barry Biomass

Local politicians have welcomed the decision to order the Barry Biomass plant to shut down.

It follows the decision by Vale of Glamorgan Council, who said planning permission for the controversial wood-burning incinerator had been breached.

The council's planning committee voted unanimously to issue a legal enforcement order, which means the plant will have to ''stop operating, with all buildings removed from the land.''

The owners of the plant have already indicated they'll appeal, claiming the enforcement action is ''totally disproportionate''.

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies, who opposed the scheme, said there had been a ''catalogue of errors'' involving the incinerator on Woodham Road.

He added: ''It's welcome enforcement action is being taken, but it should not have got to this point.''

''The incinerator should never have been approved from either a planning or environmental perspective.''

''I will continue to work alongside the Docks Incinerator Action Group and Conservative councillors to stand up for the people of Barry against this monstrosity.''

In a statement, the council said the owners of Barry Biomass had failed to resolve inconsistencies between the original design plans and what was built.

They added a comprehensive planning application was not lodged for features such as water tanks, machinery, an external conveyor and a substation.

A spokeswoman for the developers said they had already agreed with the council ''to rectify the issues raised''.

She added: ''It is our firm belief that the biomass facility in Barry is environmentally responsible, safe and will have a positive long-term impact on the local community.''

If Barry Biomass press ahead with their appeal, their case will be heard by the Planning Inspectorate.

But Ian Johnson, Plaid Cymru councillor for Buttrills, said there were still ''lots of unanswered questions'' surrounding the incinerator, after ''many years of debate''.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): ''I think councillors were genuinely surprised by the number of differences between the agreed plans and what has been built, and it raises questions about the competency of the developers to have been unable to follow their own plans.''

''But these planning issues are just one of a range of ongoing queries about the incinerator site, including the need to submit an environmental impact assessment, the wider impact of the plant upon climate change and whether the ultimate decision making responsibility lies with Welsh Government or with the Vale of Glamorgan Council.''

The council cabinet member for planning, Councillor Eddie Williams, said: ''I’m fully aware of the strength of feeling regarding this plant locally and the nature of residents’ concerns.''

''The original planning application to erect a plant at Barry Docks was refused by the Council in 2010, but that decision was overturned on appeal by a Welsh Government-appointed Inspector.''

''The development has not progressed in the manner agreed and, sadly, despite a long-running dialogue, this appears the only way to get certain issues resolved.''

Vince Bailey, Conservative councillor for Dyfan, said the Docks Incinerator Action Group (DIAG) deserved ''real credit for years of hard work'' but warned it wasn't the end of the matter ''by any means''.

He added: ''I’ve been working with my colleagues to stop the incinerator in its tracks, and we welcome the officers’ statement...but now, we need definitive enforcement action from the Vale Council.''

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