Viridor Waste Management Limited – the company behind the controversial Splott incinerator – has applied for permission to push ahead with construction of its “energy from waste” plant, despite concerns that it is in “clear breach” of conditions attached to the original planning agreement.
YourCardiff reported last month that Cardiff Council had “invited” Viridor to stop work on the Splott incinerator because the company had not complied with “pre-implementation conditions attached to the planning permission”.
This meant that the firm had violated a legal agreement to delay work at the site until environmental safety assessments were completed, and the council warned that it would take “robust enforcement action” if the matter was not resolved.
But documents due to be considered by Cardiff Council’s planning committee next Wednesday show that Viridor has applied for permission to discharge 16 different conditions that needed to be met before building could begin at the site at Trident Park.
Planning officers say they are happy to discharge or partially discharge most of the conditions because the stipulations have been met or partially met, but there is concern – both from officers and local residents – about condition number four which required Viridor to show “remediaton” or clean up works had been carried out at the site before building started. This condition was designed to stop water pollution and make sure the safety of future occupiers on the site was protected.
But Viridor has written to the council saying extensive remediation work was carried out during the 1990s, when the site was developed as a glass manufacturing plant, which found the site was suitable for industrial use and risks to human health and the wider environment were “negligable”.
The firm said: “Given the extensive investigation at the site, it is considered that the ground conditions are well established and no further assessment of the site is required at this time.”
Viridor began building work at Trident Park on July 20, despite needing to apply for the conditions to be dicharged and not complying with condition four.
Planning officers said they had written to Viridor “to advise that it does not condone any commencement of development in advance of the determination of the subsequent applications”, but that enforcement action would be “unreasonable” because the council was working with Viridor to resolve the matter.
The planning officer’s report says Viridor has not fulfilled the “clean up” condition, therefore the authority cannot discharge it, but that they are satisfied with Viridor’s pledge to submit reports on the issue on a phased basis.
There are objections to this latest application from Splott councillors Luke Holland, Huw Thomas and Gretta Marshall who say Viridor are in “clear breach” of condition four by starting the building work, and “have shown a disinterest in ceasing works on site”.
10 letters of objection say consultation on the application has been poorly publicised, that the incinerator site is on a flood plan, the site has not been cleaned, and ‘bottom ash’ will be processed on site, which goes against a condition forbidding hazardous waste.
A decision on whether to discharge the 16 pre-commencement conditions will be made on Wednesday.
See Viridor’s latest application in full below.