Last week was a busy and eventful first week back in Parliament as the Withdrawal Agreement passed the House of Commons taking us another step closer to delivering Brexit. The Bill has now progressed to the Lords, where it will be debated before receiving Royal Assent. This is, of course, is acting on our key promise to Get Brexit Done.
Here in the Vale, I have been troubled by developments relating to the incinerator in Barry. As many will be aware, I have been a longstanding opponent of the incinerator and continue to challenge the related issues as they arise. In fact, this was the very first issue I dealt with when I was first elected almost 10 years ago. Weeks after the election, I gave evidence against the development at the Planning Inquiry. I was so disappointed when the Welsh Government over-ruled the local views.
Continuing the opposition, I have written to Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to express deep concerns with the permit application being undertaken by JM Envirofuels (Barry) Ltd to vary their existing standard rules permit to a bespoke permit.
I fully appreciate the strength of feeling in our community in opposition to the incinerator. The Docks Incinerator Action Group (DIAG) and local residents have pointed out significant flaws in the planning process, which raise concerns about the way in which the application consideration is being carried out by the National Resources Wales, the Vale of Glamorgan Council and the Welsh Government.
DIAG have also highlighted regulations that should apply to Barry Biomass but have instead been overlooked to date. This includes the 2016 regulation which classifies energy generation projects in Wales capable of producing more than 10 MW of electricity as being of National Significance.
Once operational, the Barry Biomass plant is fully expected to produce more than 10MW of electricity. If this is the case, the planning application submitted to the Vale of Glamorgan Council in 2017 and a proposed public consultation on the environmental impacts by the Welsh Government are now potentially invalid.
This is something that NRW must be taking into consideration. Any further work on the current planning proposal should be halted until a new application is submitted for Welsh Government Officials to consider.
Readers can be assured that I continue to stand with the community, scrutinising the processes around the incinerator.