Following the recent ‘Carwyn Connects’ event in Barry, the First Minister relayed to Natural Resources Wales, residents’ concerns regarding the application for an environmental permit to operate a Biomass plant.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW), which is the permitting authority, has now written to the First Minister to say that it will be extending the determination date for the environmental permit- see full text below:-
Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AC/AM First Minister of Wales Cardiff Bay Cardiff CF99 1NA
12 April 2017
Dear First Minister,
Thank you for your letter dated 4 April 2017 regarding the application for an environmental permit to operate a renewable energy facility in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan. You asked if the current determination date of 8 May 2017 could be extend to enable further representations by local residents. I can advise that after careful consideration of the information we’ve received to date we will be extending the determination date and I’ve set out why below.
I wanted to take this opportunity to reassure you that we recognise the concerns raised with you by local residents and also that we have been working closely with Jane Hutt’s office in relation to this permit application as a result of concerns from the local community.
As part of our public participation process, we held an initial public engagement session at Castleland Community Centre on 13 February. This was chaired by Jane Hutt and was attended by members of the local community, including representatives from the local action group – Docks Incinerator Action Group (DIAG). We were able to explain our role and the process, and how members of the public could respond to the consultation exercise.
To date we have received over 150 representations which are considering as part of the determination process.
We are committed to further engagement with the local community, their political representatives and DIAG. We have provided DIAG with written confirmation of additional engagement we intend to undertake during the process (copy attached). A further meeting to discuss representations, queries and the ongoing determination process is currently being planned for the 8 May, after the local government elections. We have advised DIAG to agree an agenda and questions for discussion in advance of the meeting so that we can make sure we are responding to their specific concerns.
We have considered the information we have received to date from the applicant and are in the process of drafting a notice of further information that we believe we need to continue with the determination of the permit application. This notice will be finalised in the next few weeks once we have properly considered the additional technical information we require, and fully reviewed the public representations received to date which will also inform the content of the notice. The determination period will therefore extend beyond 8 May to allow for the applicant to respond to the further information we need.
We will confirm the new determination date in due course following discussions with the applicant about how much time they will need to respond to the notice. We will then update all interested parties of the new determination date. When we receive the new information required by the notice we will conduct further consultation exercises in relation to any significant new information that the applicant submits and, in due course of our draft decision if we were are at that stage minded to issue the permit. We can therefore assure you that there will be further opportunities for the local residents and wider public to comment on this ongoing application determination before we make a decision.
Finally, we will continue to work closely with the local community to ensure there is appropriate opportunity for them to be informed about the process and to enable them to respond to the consultation process, whilst ensuring we deliver our statutory decisionmaking responsibility.
We will keep you and Jane Hutt AM informed of any further developments as the process continues.
Cadeirydd, Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru Chair, Natural Resources Wales
CC: Jane Hutt