The company behind the controversial Splott incinerator was officially given permission to begin building on the site today – despite claims that it had already begin doing so “unlawfully”.
YourCardiff reported last July that Viridor had been “invited to stop” construction on its Trident Park site, after apparently beginning the work without meeting the “pre-implementation conditions” attached to its planning permission.
At the time, Cardiff Council warned that if the developer did not stop, it would take “robust enforcement action”. However, last month the local authority’s planning committee voted to defer a decision on whether to take such action until it had more information. Then at today’s committee meeting, councillors agreed that Viridor had now met the conditions, therefore it was “not expedient” for enforcement action to be pursued.
Members of the Cardiff Against The Incinerator (CATI) campaign group – who have raised concerns about the dangers of incinerator bottom ash stored at the plant – pleaded with committee members to “shoulder the responsibility” and reject the application to approve the next stage of works.
But councillors signed off all 16 pre-commencement conditions, leading CATI members to promise they will now be seeking a judicial review of the decision.
Rob Griffiths, from CATI, said: “These councillors have just voted to endorse what by its own admission is an unlawful development. Now the matter will go to court in order to protect local residents, businesses and the environment.
“It does seem rather bizarre that the people of Splott are having their swimming pool taken away when they want to keep it, and are being given an incinerator that they don’t want.”
Following this afternoon’s decision, Viridor’s business development director, Howard Ellard, said: “We are pleased that the planning committee has followed their council officers’ and legal advisors’ recommendations and have validated our development at Trident Park.
“We will continue to work with the Council to meet the requirements of the planning approval during the construction of the Energy from Waste facility. Viridor can now focus on the construction of the Energy from Waste facility, with combined heat and power, which will generate jobs, apprenticeships and investment in Cardiff and the wider region.”