Mor Hafren: Energy Recovery Facility

Received 27 November 2020
From Ruth Jones MP


Dear Sir/Madam

Objection to Planning Application
Reference: DNS/3236340
Developer: Môr Hafren Bio Power

I would be grateful if you could consider my objection to the proposal from Môr Hafren Bio Power to build a waste incinerator in the Wentloog area adjacent to Trowbridge / St Mellons and Rumney. I concur entirely with the objections made by hundreds of local residents, and other local representatives.

I objected to the previous application and would appreciate if my previous objection reasons could be taken into full consideration again, in addition to the points below.

Over-arching these specific concerns, I contend that the development, using out-dated technology and locking in significant carbon emissions and other pollutants, is entirely incompatible with the Well-Being of Future Generations Act 2015, the commitments of the Welsh and UK Governments under the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and directly undermines the One Planet Cardiff strategy of Cardiff Council.

Specific additional concerns include:

• The proposed increase in HGV traffic and associated emissions near to a residential area and multiple schools.
• The fact that the local area already has two similar facilities - at Barry, and Splott and others located across the Severn, with proposal for a Biomass plant located to the west of Newport.
• Given significant concerns about both climate emissions and local air quality - so many facilities being located in close geographical proximity cannot be justified.
• Mor Hafren state that they have contracts with companies to take the waste that they will burn in this facility and that it will be sourced locally. I have yet to learn of the type of waste that will be incinerated at the plant and the customers that they will collect the waste from.
• The proposed size and design of the facility is completely out of keeping with the local area, will ruin views for local residents towards the Severn Estuary and dominate the skyline in a largely residential and low-rise area, known as the "levels" for that reason. This facility will be more than 3 times larger and substantially higher than the nearest building.
• The area is an SSSI and it seems utterly absurd to propose locating such a facility with the related air and water pollution risks that accompany it
• There is significant overcapacity in the incineration market, and with Wales performing so strongly on its recycling targets - it is likely waste would need to be imported from beyond the local area, including England - increasing emissions and local air pollution
• The existing 42 incinerators in the UK generate over 11 million tonnes of CO2 and to add to this given the climate emergency that has been declared across the UK, is irresponsible in the extreme.
• The developers will not have to report, capture/filter or pay for any of the CO2/Carbon that they release through the burning process - it has been estimated it will produce more than 200,000 tonnes of CO2 every year.
• Projections of the smoke plume from the chimney, based on attributes such as local weather data, smoke composition and terrain (sourced from Plume-Plotter) show nitrous oxide at ground level and indicates a 30% increase to surrounding areas and is likely to cause significant detriment to health in the communities in the west of Newport
• The health assessment produced is also rather worrying for families with infants and shows that this incinerator will produce 32% of “weekly tolerable daily intake” for infants from exposure to Dioxins PCBs).
• Not least in the current Covid-19 pandemic which thrives in weak respiratory systems - this cannot be justified on health grounds alone.
• Flood risk - we are all too aware of the increase in instances of flooding due to climate change. Such a facility will not only and contribute negatively to the climate change that is behind recent flooding events, but in building on such a site removes absorbent grounds for increased precipitation in an area that is already at significant risk of coastal flooding. Concreting and tarmacing the site will mean more water run-off. Additionally, constituents fear this would increase contaminants in the reen network, thus causing further damage to the wildlife inhabitants there.

As a Shadow Minister within the Department for the Environment, food, farming and agriculture within the UK Government and with a specific portfolio for air quality I am bound to object to this planning application on behalf of constituents of Newport West and in the interests of future generations and the environment of the area.

Yours sincerely

Ruth Jones
Member of Parliament
Newport West