Buttington Quarry - ERF

Received 21 May 2021
From Welshpool Labour Party


The Welshpool Branch of the Labour Party discussed the following briefing paper in October 2020 and adopted a policy to campaign against the the Buttingotn ERF. We met with Labour Members of the Senedd and brought about the adoption of the Moratorium announced by the Welsh Government on 25 March 2021.

There is no reason for this ERF to be given planning permission.


Buttington is situated at Trewern, on the road from Shrewsbury into Welshpool. The Incinerator would be positioned on one side of the valley facing Welshpool on the other side of the valley.

The preplanning consultation for the Buttington Energy Recovery Facility/ Incinerator finished on 26 October. The developers, Broad Energy Wales, intend to submit their planning application in November. The incinerator would burn non recycled waste and produce 13 MW of energy per annum to the National Grid.

It would operate 7 days a week and 24 hours a day and the vehicle movements would take place between 0700 and 1900 weekdays and 0700 and 1230 Saturdays. There would be 50 vehicle arrivals and 50 vehicle departures each weekday.

POLLUTION: Broad Energy have not said exactly where the waste would come from and because the incinerator would not be built in partnership with the Welsh Government ( unlike the Cardiff and Flintshire incinerators) they would be free to set up contracts for waste from anywhere in the UK.

The majority of the waste would come from England and from as far afield as places like Birmingham, Worcestershire and Stoke-on-Trent. Current estimates show very little waste will come from Powys. We are unclear as to whether this waste becomes “Welsh waste” when it crosses the border and so will affect our recycling targets. Within Wales, the developers’ catchment area runs from the Isle of Anglesey down to Ceredigion. So much more pollution on our roads and so many more trucks on roads not built for them.

It is the WRONG PLACE. A site search across Powys was carried out in August 2020 [***REDACT***]

The incinerator site is on the A458 trunk Road. This is a single lane road which is heavily used particularly in the tourist season. There is a notorious accident black spot at Cefn Bridge within a few hundred yards of the side entrance.

Due to the local microclimate, cloud hangs on the hills and it is likely that the particulates from incineration will also do this. The site is situated 0.6 miles from Trewern School.

It is the WRONG SOLUTION. We need to stop producing the waste and focus on achieving ever high levels of recycling. Incineration causes pollution and breaks the circular economy by destroying valuable resources which could be recycled now or in the future as technology advances. It also adds substantially to the carbon footprint of Wales around a tonne of carbon for every tonne of waste burnt. This figure does not include the carbon expended in bringing the waste to site.

Incineration also dis-incentivises recycling, including recycling in England where levels are at around 40%. Incineration is a high carbon way of producing electricity. The future lies in renewable low carbon energy solutions such as wind power and solar.

It is the WRONG TIME. Incineration is yesterday’s solution and Wales and England must guard against the very real risk of creating overcapacity. Equally there are two other incinerators planned for Birmingham which will take the 65% of waste which is not recycled there and it is likely that waste will have to travel even further to feed the Buttington Incinerator.

October 2020.