CAMPAIGNERS against the £4.3 million North Powys Bulking Facility at Abermule, want to see a consultation on an environment permit application by Powys County Council to run the site, reopened.
As part of the permit application process, last October and November Powys County Council were asked by the Welsh Government’s environment body Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to provide extra information in what is called a “Schedule 5 Notice.”
They are asking for details of how the council propose to handle safety issues.
It emerged last Friday, January 14, that NRW have for the third time asked for more detail from the council to “support” their application.
They have given the authority a deadline of January 31 to provide more information on a number of issues including how to prevent and deal with fires as well as how long food waste will be on site.
A public consultation allowed villagers to have their say on the permit application was held earlier from May 20 to July 1, 2021.
Mark Pearce of Abermule Communities Together (ACT) said: “As Powys County Council have been given more time and a lot of new information has been submitted, then we feel that it’s unreasonable that NRW are unwilling to accept comments or objections sent to them based on this additional material.”
While NRW say they won’t reopen the original consultation, the public will get a second opportunity to have their say.
Mid Wales NRW operations manager, Ann Weedy said: “We understand that the environmental permit application is a matter of high public interest.
“In line with our procedure, the public consultation held in the summer of 2021 ran for six weeks as opposed to the standard four weeks.
“This consultation will not reopen.”
Ms Weeded added that it wasn’t “uncommon” to ask for extra information on applications of “this size and complexity.”
She explained that once NRW have made a draft decision either way on the permit, a second public consultation would then tale place.
Ms Weedy said: “We will take into consideration any relevant comments before reaching a final decision.”
A spokesman for Powys County Council said that “it is expected” that there will be requests for more information.
The spokesman said: “This does demonstrate the stringent requirements to obtain and operate under such permits.
“We are confident that the information will be provided in the time-scale requested.”
When asked whether reopening the consultation would be fair, the council spokesman said: “The consultation is being carried out by NRW in line with their procedures for such a facility.”
PCC propose that the site accept and process up to 22,500 tonnes a year of non-hazardous waste and a maximum of 425 tonnes is proposed at any one time.
The site is supposed to receive recycling collected from households across Montgomeryshire, where it will be squashed together or “bulked,” so that it can be more easily transported to processors to turn into new products.
The council have said that the facility is needed so that they can hit Welsh Government recycling targets.