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Buttington energy plans raised in Parliament

Created on 14/01/2021 @ 09:45


Concerns over the proposals to build an Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) at Buttington Quarry have been raised in Parliament.

Montgomeryshire MP Craig Williams spoke in a Westminster Hall debate on incineration and recycling, referring to the potential large scale waste incinerator near Trewern and concerns on its impact on the local area.

Developers Broad Energy say the scheme will create 300 jobs during its construction phase and employ 30 members of permanent staff once fully operational. The firm also claims that it will reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill while generating low-carbon energy at the same time.

But many residents are skeptical and fear it will create pollution issues for them, as well as the local primary school in Trewern. 

The MP’s contribution was welcomed by local County Councillor, Amanda Jenner, who has been keeping residents up to date with the plan’s latest developments.

“I’m really pleased that Craig Williams MP has spoken in this debate, highlighting the impact of a potential large scale incinerator within a rural community, not far from a primary school,” said Cllr Jenner.

“With a potential planning application consultation starting within weeks, my residents are rightly concerned about whether all people will be able to fully engage with such a sensitive and emotive consultation during the ongoing pandemic. I was particularly glad to hear Craig raise this point.”

Mr Williams said that he “echoed the concerns” highlighted by Cllr Jenner, and “paid tribute to her and the Buttington Incinerator Impact Group’s efforts to ensure there is proper consideration of any major planning applications”.

“With research carried out by WRAP Cymru finding that 75% of the ‘ingredients’ for incinerators in Wales could have been recycled, I believe it is vital that we further explore methods of storing non-recyclables that can then be mined when the technology becomes available to recycle it,” said Mr Williams.

“The Welsh Government’s recycling target of achieving 70% by 2025 is laudably ambitious, and in Montgomeryshire, Powys County Council is doing a terrific job of ensuring their targets are being met.

“It would be of great concern therefore if recycling rates in Wales are impacted by an increase of incinerators; particularly when communities such as Buttington see applications for large incinerators in very rural areas, which will require huge HGV movements across a large area of Wales and England.

“Montgomeryshire is 840 square miles with a population 50,000 people. That does not lend itself to a huge industrial incinerator with waste transported on our struggling trunk roads.”

Councillor Jenner reiterated her call for the Welsh Government to “take the time to look at our waste strategy as a whole in order to ensure that waste is dealt with strategically and in the most environmentally conscious ways as possible”.

“It is good news that the impact of incinerators are being debated in Westminster, however, I  would also like to see this issue debated fully here in Wales, given that the waste economy is devolved to the Welsh Government,” she said.

“As we move towards a circular economy (producing less waste year on year), this should reduce the need for any increase in the capacity of waste incineration in Wales,” she said.

According to Broad Energy, the proposed ERF will use state-of-the-art technology, provided by Hitachi Zosen Inova, which has a significant track record in building such facilities. It will be capable of processing non-hazardous, non-recyclable waste and transforming it into 13-megawatts of low-carbon electricity annually, which will be exported to the National Grid.

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