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Conflicting messages on pyrolysis plant

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The project plan

The project plan

CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a pyrolysis plant at Cwmgwili in Carmarthenshire go before the planning committee on Thursday (Feb 4).

The development, proposed by RLAND Energy was the subject of a Herald investigation and film in August 2015, which detailed the proposal’s background and interviewed John Simmonds, an expert on renewable energies.

Our investigation uncovered that two of the men linked to the application, Manish Chande and Martin Myers, ran Imry: A property developer that got into such a financial mess, it caused Barclays to write-off the largest bad-debt in its history.

John Simmonds told The Herald: “There is no reason to approve a plant like this based on the premise that this is supposed to be an economically viable process that is going to make them money they have yet to show that this is going to be economically viable let alone the safety implications.”

The differing responses of two community councils whose residents would be affected by the scheme, appear to suggest that communities and councils are divided on the plant’s construction.

Llandybie Community Council are insistent that planning permissions for the plant should be refused. Neighbouring Llannon council’s response is altogether more equivocal, where it can be at all discerned.

Llandybie Council highlights the scale of the development, which it described as ‘unacceptable’, potentially resulting in a significant increase in heavy goods vehicles accessing and egressing the proposed site onto an already dangerous section of the A48 Trunk Road.

In addition, the Council objects to the development on grounds of nuisance, emissions and detriment to the community. It claims the proposed incinerator and the southerly prevailing winds will carry potentially hazardous emissions over a populated area

By way of contrast, Llannon Community Council appear to conditionally support the application for a pyrolysis plant on the bases of information provided to it at presentations given by the proposed plant’s developer and ‘that there will be significant opportunity for community benefits to Llannon Community Council area’.

Llannon Community Council go on to comment: ‘It is requested that a mechanism for securing these benefits including a formal agreement is established prior to the granting of any planning consent.’

The Herald contacted the Chairman of Llannon Community Council, Mr. Phil Williams.

He told us: “We sent a letter to Carmarthenshire County Council after more information about the plant came to our attention. I have been watching what has been going on in the press and I receive emails from the action group. It was a long time ago and it seemed like a good thing.

“We didn’t know what the capacity of the plant would be. We are a consultee, but they don’t always take any notice of what we say now.”

Mr Williams continued: “If we could go back we would probably object. I am not sure we can change our minds now. I understand that officers have decided to refuse planning. It hasn’t been on our agenda but we are aware there is an action group.” Mr Williams suggested that a request for clarification from the local authority did not receive a response: “We were waiting for technical information but we have not had any back. We asked for further clarification on the plans, as we could see that the proposals for the amount of rubbish had increased. We have not received any information as yet from the County Council.

“I oppose the plant on a personal level but I can’t speak for the council until we have had a meeting to discuss any further information.”

A protest has been organised by the A48 Action Group who say that the incinerator was advertised by the company as a solar farm and that it was misleading

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 10.29.18Development threatens local businesses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The group say that they have conducted research into pyrolysis type waste treatments using municipal waste, which revealed an international picture of environmental problems associated with emissions, leaks and explosions.

The group claim that in many cases very little if any energy is actually produced, leading the companies involved into financial difficulties. With regards to claims that the plant will be green and save energy, the campaigners claim that further research suggests that trying to reclaim energy from waste actually reduces recycling and re-use, so from an environmental perspective is inefficient and wasteful of valuable natural resources.

The group also state that the company have actively promoted this technology as emission free, safe and definitely not an incinerator but that in all legislation and environmental regulation it is classed as an incineration plant.

The A48 Campaign Group has also praised Carmarthenshire County Council’s existing recycling programme and questioned whether the County even requires a pyrolysis plant.

They state, “Carmarthenshire’s record on recycling and re-use of waste is excellent, beating all targets. Their own figures show in 2012/13 they only sent 30,000 tonnes of waste to landfill. This proposal according to the planning application is for 195,000 tonnes per year of non-recyclable waste. However the developer’s website claims a capacity of 350,000 tonnes per year.

“A recent EU report shows that many EU states including the UK has more incineration capacity than waste generated.”

The Herald contacted the County Council and asked whether the Council had received a request for further information from Llannon Community Council and whether it had provided a response.

Hugh Towns, Regional Minerals and Waste Manager told The Herald: “I can confirm that we did have a request from Llannon Community Council for additional information. I attended one of their Council Meetings to outline the application and to answer questions.”

When presented with the information provided to The Herald by the local authority, Cllr Williams said he had not heard from Mr Towns.Development threatens local businesses

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Community

Carmarthenshire Archives’ new building officially opened

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ON MONDAY, November 28, Cllr Rob Evans, Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council, unveiled a specially designed plaque to commemorate the official opening of the brand new Carmarthenshire Archives building.

The official opening was attended by year 6 pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, along with their Headteacher Mr Dylan Evans, who designed the plaque by compiling various artwork and sketches that are housed at the Archives.

Established in 1959, Carmarthenshire Archives is the local authority archive service for the County of Carmarthenshire and the new building is located at St Peter’s Street, Carmarthen. 

The service is home to our extensive collection of historic documents that date from the 13th century to the present day. The collection includes archives, maps, books, photographs, videos and sound recordings. It is the Archives’ mission to preserve and make its documents available for general study and research.

Admission to Carmarthenshire Archives is free and open to anyone who wishes to use the Council’s records. Most of its services are free, but we do charge for some extra services and help.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Cllr Gareth John commented:

“Congratulations to the pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, they have designed an excellent and appropriate plaque that is inspired by the treasure troves of our archives. It was wonderful to welcome them to the official opening so that they can see their work take pride of place at a building that holds great significance to us in Carmarthenshire. 

“This is a brand new and modern building that is fit to keep and protect our county’s most precious historical documents. 

“But of course, these documents are meant to be viewed and studied by school children, students, academics and anybody who has an interest in Carmarthenshire’s rich history; and this excellent facility provides the perfect space for people to come and view these treasures.”

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Business

Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities

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WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or Facebook.com/WWUtilities.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands

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OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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