South East Wales

Cwmfelinfach 'trapped fumes' waste plant plans refused

Temperature inversion over Cwmfelinfach Image copyright Janine Reed
Image caption Health officials expressed concern emissions could be trapped in the air above Cwmfelinfach

Plans for a controversial waste processing plant in Caerphilly county have been refused.

Health officials and residents were worried emissions from the plant would affect people's health.

They were concerned the rare weather phenomenon of temperature inversion could trap fumes over Cwmfelinfach.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said it was not satisfied the company had demonstrated it could operate without harming people.

Hazrem Environmental Ltd said emissions would have a "negligible" impact on air quality.

Residents raised the issue before Caerphilly council approved the plans in December.

The proposed activity at the site would involve sorting and segregating waste for recycling and the production of fuel.

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Media captionCouncillor Philippa Marsden said the decision was "massive" for people power

Emissions from burning of natural gas used in an on-site drier would include nitrogen dioxide but health officials at Aneurin Bevan health board were concerned about how much would have been released.

Jon Goldsworthy, operations manager for NRW, said: "We believe that the proposed facility has the potential to have a negative impact on the health of people living in the area.

"This is due to a predicted short-term increase in nitrogen dioxide concentrations during certain weather conditions, such as thermal inversions.

"We were not satisfied that the company's detailed plans demonstrate that it can operate without harming people."

Jan Jones, councillor for the Ynysddu ward where the plant would have been, said the decision was "absolutely, unbelievably wonderful".

She added: "The whole valley has come together - we all believed this was in the wrong place and we've been vindicated."

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