Opponents of a controversial waste incinerator project in Cardiff will today ask AMs to support their bid to have planning permission revoked.
The Cardiff Against the Incinerator Committee (CATI) argues that an ombudsman’s ruling that the planning consultation process organised by Cardiff council was flawed should be sufficient grounds to stop the Splott project from going ahead.
Today a petition from CATI will be considered by the National Assembly’s petitions committee.
CATI spokesman David Prosser said: “The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales found that ‘the proposed development consultation exercise fell short of what could reasonably be expected of it, which amounted to maladministration on the part of the council’.
“It is obvious that this maladministration ruling applies to hundreds of residents residing at the Galleon Way apartment complex and the thousands of residents, employees and businesses in Cardiff Bay, who have all suffered an injustice due to Cardiff council’s policy of failing to put up or post information notices concerning the planning application for the proposed Viridor incinerator.”
Mr Prosser went on to seek the petitions committee’s backing for calls to Environment Minister John Griffiths to revoke planning permission for the incinerator because of the flawed consultation process.
CATI is concerned about the incinerator’s potential impact on public health, although the developer Viridor insists it would be well within emission limits.
Viridor spokesman Dan Cooke said: “The project is going ahead. The construction contract has been let and civil engineers are on the site in preparation for full construction work due to start in a few weeks’ time.
“The opponents of the project are entitled to explore whatever routes they consider appropriate, but we have planning consent and it is difficult to see what could prevent construction going ahead at this stage.
“The ombudsman found that a small number of residents and businesses were not consulted, but acknowledged that did not invalidate the planning process.
“Certainly both Cardiff council and ourselves ensured there was widespread consultation about the plan.”
Mr Cooke said it was also important to remember that the incinerator would create around 50 permanent jobs, together with around 250 during the three-year construction phase of the £200m incinerator.
He said: “We hope to secure the contract for municipal waste disposal, but have decided it is worth proceeding with the project whether we win it or not, because around three quarters of the relevant waste for incineration would come from commercial sources not covered by the domestic waste contract.”